October 15, 2021
According to a recent decision from the U.S District Court – Southern District of New York, former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss a copyright lawsuit stemming from a campaign video posted on his Twitter account has been denied.
As reported by Reuters and the Huffington post, the lawsuit was filed by Eddy Grant in relation to the use of his popular song “Electric Avenue” in an anti-Biden campaign video. Although the video was created by one of Trump’s supporters, Trump had reposted the video to his Twitter account in the run-up to the 2020 election.
In his motion to dismiss, Trump claimed that he had made fair use of the video, arguing that the song had been “transformed” for a “comedic, political purpose” and was no longer intended to disseminate or sell the music. This argument was rejected by U.S District Judge John Koeltl who noted that the video didn't "parody the music or transform it in any way," and that its "overarching political purpose" didn't automatically make it transformative or non-commercial.
Following this decision, the lawsuit against Trump will proceed. Although his motion to dismiss has been rejected, Trump could choose to raise the issue once more in a summary-judgment motion.
Authors: Awale Deria and Brittni Tee