Trump's 2020 Tweet Gets Blocked for Using Dark Knight Rises Score Without Permission
"The use of Warner Bros.’ score from The Dark Knight Rises in the campaign video was unauthorized. We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed"
President Donald Trump, habitual Twitter-er, found himself this week in a common predicament for some of the platform’s most avid users: facing down a copyright flag.
On Tuesday the president tweeted a re-election campaign video celebrating himself that he (or more likely his team) apparently first came across on Reddit.
The since-blocked video, according to BuzzFeed and Variety, included the text “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they call you racist. Donald J. Trump. Your vote. Proved them all wrong. Trump: The Great Victory. 2020.” Alongside it was footage of Democrats against Trump in action.
Accompanying the video was part of the score for The Dark Knight Rises.
The problem? Warner Bros., the film’s studio, never gave permission for such usage and swiftly took action.
“The use of Warner Bros.’ score from The Dark Knight Rises in the campaign video was unauthorized,” a spokesperson said, according to BuzzFeed and Variety. “We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.”
The video’s text was also stylized in the same font as the Batman film, Variety reports.
“MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted with the video, which reportedly racked up a few million views before being taken down. Detractors pounced.
“Holy propaganda, Batman!” one replied to him.
Another wrote, “Whose job is it to make these poorly-edited propaganda videos that make Donald clap his little doll hands in giddy … delight?”
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As BuzzFeed notes, the video’s origins appear to trace back to a subsection of Reddit tailor-made for Trump fans called The_Donald. Five days ago, a user posted the same video there that Trump eventually tweeted. It, too, has now been blocked by Warner Bros. on copyright grounds.
While it’s not officially clear, such a connection between Reddit and what the president tweets would not be surprising — or the first time he has shared or referenced material that previously appeared there. (The Atlantic explored the relationship two years ago.)
Last week, surreally, the president mocked former Vice President Joe Biden, who multiple women have said made them uncomfortable with his behavior. The president’s mode of trolling was a crudely made video that had already been shared around Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere, according to the New York Times.
The man behind that video, speaking only under his username, explained to the Times how he believes he got it to the president’s attention via White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino:
“Dan Scavino follows me on Twitter, but there’s no formal relationship there between me and the president. If there’s something I want to make sure [Scavino] sees, I’ll wait for him to post a tweet and try to be the first to reply, linking to what I want to show.”
The White House did not respond to PEOPLE’s questions about the president’s tweet.