A parody video involving Donald Trump has found itself in the crosshairs of a vehement disagreement between the real estate tycoon and a team of disgruntled Scottish activists.
The video, a satirical protest of Trump’s much-maligned installment of the Aberdeenshire golf resort in the country’s northeast corner set to the tune of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” became a controversial talking point Thursday after activists realized that YouTube removed the clip from its site.
Now, producers of the video are claiming foul play and suggesting that YouTube is suppressing their rights to free speech.
Originally posted in March, “Donald Trump does Bohemian Rhapsody” accrued more than 29,000 views before EMI Music took the clip down, saying that the creators of the video did not have a copyright on the widely renowned song.
But Queen lead guitarist Brian May interjected, giving his blessing for the video by saying that he too wanted to show his “disgust” at Trump’s resort.
Campaign organizer Hazel Cameron, who spent 18 months creating the parody, reposted the video onto YouTube last week, where it picked up 3,000 views before mysteriously disappearing Thursday night. Shortly after its removal, Cameron received word that the video got dropped because it was “in violation of YouTube guidelines” and found to be “inappropriate.”
Google, YouTube’s governing body, told Scotland’s The Herald that the clip came down because it violated copyright, something the video-sharing site “takes … very seriously.
“When we receive a complaint alleging that a video infringes another person or company’s copyrights, we remove that video.”
That response is news to Cameron, who told The Herald that she’d done everything by the book to ensure a long-lasting second run for the song.
“There are now copyright issues, and I’ve done everything by the book,” she said.”I really can’t see what we are meant to have done wrong.
“Nobody else has objected to it and the video never should have been taken down. I’ve had confirmation from YouTube that the copyright was all above board, and there was even a personal letter from Brian May saying that I have his blessing. I honestly can’t see how it breaks any copyright laws.”
Cameron actually thinks that Trump himself has had a hand in the video’s removal. On Sunday, she told The Herald she thinks the massive worldwide company is getting “bullied” by The Donald.
“It must have come from him,” she said. “He must be unhappy about the video, and he must have complained about it. We wanted to get the video back in the mainstream again and to bring more attention to what has happened.”
Sarah Malone, the executive vice president of Trump International Golf Links Scotland, said that’s a load of poppycock.
“We have no interest in the song although it does generate further interest in our project and we are selling more tee times as a result,” she said, adding that the takedown “had nothing to do with us and we couldn’t care less about the song.”
YouTube did not respond to a Daily Dot request for comment.
For now, the song exists on both Funny or Die and iTunes, where it can be purchased for $0.99.
Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III