December 11, 2019, 1:01

Trump’s Nickelback meme taken down by Twitter over copyright violation

Trump’s Nickelback meme taken down by Twitter over copyright violation

Within 12 hours of President Donald Trump tweeting a digitally altered meme inserting former Vice President Joe Biden into a 2005 Nickelback music video, Twitter disabled the content from playing “in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

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The 20-second video tweeted by Trump opened with a clip of Biden on the campaign trail saying he had never discussed business dealings with his son Hunter Biden.

The video then cut to the Nickelback video, wherein band frontman sings the lyrics “look at this photograph” and holds up a picture. The video Trump tweeted superimposed on that picture a photo from 2014 of Joe and Hunter Biden on a golf course with Hunter Biden’s business associate.

(MORE: Live updates: Former special envoy to the Ukraine set to testify before Congress)

While the tweet remained up as of Thursday late morning, the video was removed. In its place is a message from Twitter reading: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

The man labeled as “UKRAINE GAS EXEC” in the meme video is Devon Archer, an American businessman and longtime colleague of the Bidens. Hunter Biden and Archer co-founded the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca Partners in 2009 before they served together on the board of Burisma Holdings in 2014.

Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which he seemed to encourage Zelenskiy to investigate Hunter Biden’s past business dealings in Ukraine while withholding nearly $400 million in congressional-approved military aid, is at the center of an impeachment inquiry that House Democrats launched last week.


PHOTO:An image of a twitter post by President Trump showing a digitally altered image from a Nickelback music video that has since been removed after it generated a complaint by Nickelback.

(MORE: Trump admin approves new sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine)

The video Trump tweeted follows a popular meme format. The meme revolves around people replacing Kroeger’s photograph with a photo or video of their choosing inside the frame. It is not the meme, but the music, that appears to have violated Twitter’s copyright policy.

It is not the first time the president has posted content violating Twitter’s copyright rules. Earlier this year in April, Trump tweeted a campaign advertisement put to music from the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” It was removed following a take-down notice from copyright holder Warner Bros.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images, FILE

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Donald Trump meet in New York on Sept.25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

A Twitter spokeswoman said Thursday morning that the company responded “to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives.”

Nickelback representatives have not responded to ABC News’ messages seeking comment.


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