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US ELECTIONS

Twitter removes Trump campaign video after complaint by singer Eddy Grant

British-Guyanese singer claims copyright infringement after his song ‘Electric Avenue’ was featured at Trump rally

Eddy Grant said it was a flagrant abuse of his rights. AP Photo
Eddy Grant said it was a flagrant abuse of his rights. AP Photo

Twitter removed a campaign video shared by US President Donald Trump after a copyright complaint by Guyanese-British singer-songwriter Eddy Grant, whose song Electric Avenue was played in the background.

The bizarre animation mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Grant’s lawyer, Brian Caplan, filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign team on Tuesday before the video was taken down by Twitter.

The removal of the video did not diminish the damages inflicted by the copyright infringements, Mr Caplan told CNN.

This week, the lawyer said Mr Trump and his team did not seek his client’s permission to use the song.

“This is copyright 101,” Mr Caplan told US music magazine Billboard.

"You need to have a licence and nobody in his campaign with a straight face could say he has the absolute right to do this."

It is not known why the song was used in the Trump campaign, but Electric Avenue refers to the 1981 race riots in the South London district of Brixton amid heightened tensions between the black community and the police.

“In my particular case, they have sought to encapsulate my intellectual property into derogatory political rhetoric, further encapsulated in a video production that can only be construed at best as being wicked, thereby causing me considerable emotional distress,” Grant said in August after issuing a cease-and-desist letter.

The original video was posted by a member of Mr Trump’s team and retweeted by the president.

“I can understand the flagrant abuse of my rights being attributed to the worst Third World nation in the world, wherever that can be found; one that does not preach democracy on every available occasion," Grant said.

"But I fail to understand that such an organisation dedicated to the promotion of the president of the United States could so seriously abuse my rights as an artist, composer, arranger, producer and ultimately, the owner of these abused rights."

Updated: September 3, 2020 01:48 AM

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