HBO Takes Immediate Action After Trump’s GoT Tweet SUBSCRIBE: https://youtu.be/nE2uhv-ZCSw : The President of the United States is in some hot water… with HBO.
In conjunction with Attorney General Bill Barr’s press conference discussing the release of the redacted Mueller report, Donald Trump took to Twitter with a Game of Thrones-inspired image that quickly drew the ire of the cable channel. Its overlaid text, in a very Thrones-like font, reads:
“No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats, Game Over.”
Game of Thrones fever is at an all-time high at the moment, with the first episode of the venerable series’ final season having just aired. As Deadline reports, HBO slyly referenced this fact in a statement following the president’s tweet:
“Though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes.”
This is hardly the first time Trump’s gotten blowback for co-opting intellectual property to make a political statement. In fact, it’s not even the first time he’s used Game of Thrones to do so. Last November, he tweeted an image of himself with the text,
“Sanctions are coming.”
Again, the slogan was rendered in a terribly familiar font. And again, it prompted an epic response from HBO’s official Twitter account:
“How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?”
That unmistakably snarky comeback didn’t keep Trump from basically pulling the same shenanigans in January of this year. He posted another image that owed its aesthetic to Game of Thrones, along with the caption:
“The wall is coming.”
Following the November incident, HBO released a statement saying they weren’t aware of the messaging but didn’t approve of it. Nevertheless, the network’s spokesperson Jeff Cusson implied that no legal action would be taken. At the end of the day, the case could be made that Trump’s tweets are parody, which is protected under the Fair Use act. Even, or perhaps especially, if the tweets are coming from someone who occupies the highest office in all the land.
Apparently, the president’s legal team is only vaguely aware of the subtleties involved in copyright law. After all, it’s been barely a week since another Trump tweet misappropriated intellectual property… and that tweet wound up being removed.
On April 9, the president posted a video hyping his 2020 re-election campaign. It just so happened to be scored to “Why Do We Fall?,” a classical piece by Hans Zimmer composed for the 2012 superhero flick The Dark Knight Rises. The video incorporated text rendered in a font that was suspiciously similar to those in the film’s credits. Warner Brothers, the studio behind the Dark Knight trilogy, quickly responded with a curt statement of their own:
“The use of Warner Bros.’ score from The Dark Knight Rises in the campaign video was unauthorized. We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.”
Parody is one thing, but as any rapper will tell you, you can’t just jack other peoples’ tunes for your own purposes… unless you want to end up in court.
While HBO may not have a case for trademark infringement, some legal analysts believe they could argue that the president’s usage of Game of Thrones imagery constituted trademark dilution; an entirely separate concept.
Anyway, it’s hard to imagine any Game of Thrones fan thinking the image was proof-positive of HBO and the show’s cast and crew endorsing the president’s opinion of the Mueller report.
We’re not in the business of taking political stances here at Looper, but we are in the business of taking a stance on Game of Thrones. With that in mind, we’d like to point out that the president’s tweet doesn’t make much sense in the context of the series. Unless we missed a crucial episode, we’re pretty sure there aren’t any Democrats in Westeros. We suppose there are plenty of “haters” on the show, though perhaps not in the way Trump meant.
Regardless, there’s no argument that the series will be coming to a close at the end of May. So indeed, the Game is nearly over. Well, like the old adage says, two out of three ain’t bad. Or is it?