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Twitter takes down Trump’s doctored CNN video over copyright issues

Twitter has taken down a doctored CNN video tweeted by President Donald Trump for copyright infringement. It had initially only flagged it as “manipulated media.”

The move comes after Jukin Media, a content firm that owns the distribution license for the footage that the Trump administration had unlawfully used, submitted a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) copyright takedown notice on behalf of the video’s creator. Twitter confirmed with Digital Trends that the President’s tweet “has been actioned due to a DMCA notice from a rights holder.”

While Trump’s tweet, which at the time of writing was viewed by over 20 million people and liked by more than 450,000 users, continues to stay up on the social network, the attached video has been disabled with an overlayed error that reads: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

The clip shared by the President had been doctored to accuse CNN of spreading racial, provocative misinformation and was overlayed with a false CNN chyron that reads, “Terrified toddler runs from racist baby.” The video concluded with the message: “America is not the problem. Fake news is. Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires.”

Jukin Media, in a statement to Digital Trends, said neither the video owner nor the firm gave the President permission to post the video.

“After our review, we believe that his unauthorized usage of the content is a clear example of copyright infringement without valid fair use or other defense. We have submitted a DMCA takedown notice on behalf of the video’s creator, and in accordance with Twitter’s policy. Separately, in no way do we support or condone the manipulated video or the message it conveys,” added the spokesperson.

The complaint was reviewed by Harvard University’s Lumen Database, a third-party research group Twitter relies on to respond to cease and desist letters.

Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump campaign, in a statement sent to Digital Trends, said: “The outrageous war on President Trump being waged by the Silicon Valley Mafia continues. The entire point of the video was to demonstrate how video can easily be manipulated by the media and others, so the labeling of the video as ‘manipulated’ comically confirms the whole premise. The joke is on Twitter.”

This is the second time Twitter has pulled a video tweeted by President Trump over copyright infringement. Earlier this month, the company took down videos posted by two of the Trump administration’s reelection campaign profiles, Team Trump and Trump War Room, for violating copyrights. Andrew Clark, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, at the time said that this was “yet another reminder that Twitter is making up the rules as they go along.”

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