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  • Writer's pictureDenny Esford

The Trump Effect – Copyright Infringement Strikes Again

Donald Trump is in hot water over intellectual property issues again, but this time it wasn’t directly his own doing. On March 31, a fan posted a video to Twitter promoting the candidate by parodying the popular video game Mass Effect 2. The video was added to YouTube, and came under fire after being re-tweeted by The Donald himself.

Entitled “Trump Effect,” the video heavily features music from the video games that were recognizable by fans and the game’s producer, EA Games. Additionally, the video takes the voice work done by Martin Sheen and replaces the original video game animations with footage of the presidential race and pro-Trump quotes. The most interesting fact here is in the details; while the video may appear to promote Trump, it actually depicts the candidate as the game’s villain.

After Trump re-tweeted the video, it went viral, and eventually EA Games found it. The tweet and video have since been removed, as the video clearly violated EA’s intellectual property rights. A representative from the company stated that not only was it an unauthorized use of their IP, the company does not support its assets being used in political campaigns.

This is not the first time this has happened to Trump, of course. But the interesting this time was that Trump was not the creator of the infringing material. Similar fan videos are posted to YouTube or other social media sites all the time, with little regard for IP rights. YouTube is particularly good at removing infringing content, but some still goes unnoticed. This serves as a reminder to everyone to be more careful when making content to put on the Internet.

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