Donald Trump fights Electric Avenue copyright claim, citing “absolute presidential immunity”
Legal documents in New York City court show how, in September last year, the campaign’s video tweet was viewed more than 13.7 million times, was “liked” more than 350,000 times and retweeted 139,000 times, attracting nearly 50,000 comments. The video was later deleted by Twitter following the copyright challenge.
Despite Grant’s offer to settle last year, Mr. Trump’s attorneys prepared a case claiming the trial should be expelled.
They filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the music was played in the video under “fair use,” a doctrine allowing copyright material to be reproduced without permission under special circumstances. They also insisted that it was being used for satirical purposes, rather than to broadcast the song itself.
But in September, US District Court Judge John Koeti dismissed the motion to dismiss because the use of the song amounted to “a wholesale copy of music to accompany a political campaign ad.”
The latest documents, which include the presidential immunity defense among other legal arguments, have been filed in recent days by lawyers for Mr. Trump.
“This will also be rejected by the court in due course”
Grant’s attorney, Brian Caplan of Reitler Kailas & Rosenlatt, told the Sunday Telegraph: âNo president is above the law. Donald Trump, as president, has consistently complained about China’s contempt for American intellectual property rights because it was incumbent upon him to do so.
âHowever, as far as Eddy Grant was concerned, Mr. Trump actually did exactly what he accused China of doing. He ignored and violated Mr. Grant’s rights to Electric Avenue, his flagship work.
âClaiming ‘absolute presidential immunity’, after its ‘fair use’ defense has been strongly rejected by the court, is a ludicrous and desperate position that will also be rejected by the court in due course. “
Electric Avenue was released on Grant’s Killer on the Rampage album. It became one of the best-known songs of 1983, in part because its backing video was well received on MTV. The song reached number two on the charts and lost the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song to Billie Jean by Michael Jackson.
Grant, whose other hits include I Don’t Wanna Dance, now lives in the Caribbean.
A number of musicians, including the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, have complained that Trump has used their music without permission.