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The musician Eddy Grant is suing the Trump campaign for copyright infringement over the use of the song “Electric Avenue” and Twitter has removed a video containing the number from one of President Trump’s tweets.
The 55-second video showed a speedy Trump/Pence train juxtaposed against an animated depiction of Joe Biden slowly pumping a railroad handcar down the tracks — along with sound bites from bizarre remarks the former vice president made in 2017 about his lifeguarding days playing over the song.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 06: Eddy Grant performs at The Liverpool Echo Arena on December 6, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by David Munn/WireImage)
Lawyers for Grant, a UK citizen who lives in Barbados, filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York.
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“None of the Plaintiffs, nor any agent on their respective behalves, has licensed any rights in the Composition to either Mr. Trump or [the Trump campaign], or otherwise consented to Defendants’ use of the Composition in connection with the Infringing Video,” Grant’s lawyers wrote in the complaint.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, the cost of legal fees and the forfeiture of any profits derived from the video.
Trump tweeted the video on Aug. 12. An attorney for grant had submitted a cease-and-desist letter dated Aug. 13. Twitter removed the video from Trump’s tweet on Sept. 1. It had gotten about 50,000 replies, almost 14,000 retweets and over 350,000 likes, along with millions of views.
It’s the third time in three months that Twitter has removed media from the president’s account due to copyright violations, NBC News reported.
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A copy of the cease-and-desist letter was included in the court filing.
In it, one of Grant’s lawyers argued his client had sustained “substantial damage and irreparable harm” in connection with the song being used in a “controversial political campaign.”
“My client has always had a reputation of standing for truth and justice for all, which will be seriously undermined by any affiliation with the name ‘Trump’ in this political context,” the letter reads.
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