The publisher of iconic rock band Queen forced a campaign video for President Donald Trump to be taken down because it used “We Will Rock You” as its soundtrack. Trump tweeted the clip on Wednesday, which featured footage of Trump speaking at rallies. As of Sunday, the video accompanying the tweet had been removed from Twitter. “This media has been disabled in response to a report by copyright owner,” Trump’s tweet now reads.
Shortly after the video went up a representative for the band told BuzzFeed News that the use of the song had not been authorized. The band “already entered into a process to call for non use of Queen song copyrights by the Trump campaign. This is ongoing,” the representative said shortly after the video was published. It was not the first time Queen has asked Trump not to use its music. Back in 2016, Queen complained when “We Are the Champions” was played at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
This is only the latest example of the Trump campaign receiving complaints over its choice of music for campaigning. Earlier this week, Prince’s estate complained of Trump’s use of Purple Rain before a rally in the artist’s hometown on Thursday night. “The Prince Estate will never give permission to President Trump to use Prince’s songs,” the estate tweeted.
The tweet included a copy of a 2018 letter from a Trump campaign lawyer that said “the Campaign will not use Prince’s music in connection with its activities going forward.” Earlier this month, a video featuring Photograph by Nickelback was also taken down.
Other times though just because a band objects doesn’t mean they can do anything about the use of their songs. That’s because most artists hand rights to perform their music to performance rights organizations so the artists themselves don’t have to be consulted. Axl rose tweeted about that last year, noting that GNR “has formally requested r music not b used at Trump rallies or Trump associated events” but the “Trump campaign is using loopholes in the various venues’ blanket performance licenses.”
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