The studio is demanding the president take down a campaign video using music from its "The Dark Knight Rises" score.
UPDATED 2:43 a.m. on 4/10/19
While the post remains active, the video has been removed on Twitter with the message, "This video has been disabled in response to a report from the copyright owner."
It looks like Warner Bros. might get Donald Trump to do something he rarely ever does himself; take down a tweet. The studio is set to file a lawsuit against the president over a tweet he posted Tuesday afternoon.
At issue is the music used as the dramatic score behind this latest 2020 campaign video. And it's not just the music, as the entire video is clearly an homage to "The Dark Knight Rises," with the film's message mimicking the film's font and title cards as well.
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they call you a racist," the video proclaims. "Donald J. Trump. Your vote. Proved them all wrong. Trump: The Great Victory. 2020."
The studio is asking Trump to remove the video from his timeline, telling Variety in a statement, "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."
According to Deadline, an insider reports the tweet is in the process of being taken down, but as of 9:38 p.m. PT it is still live on his site, having been viewed more than 2.6 million times. If it is taken down voluntarily, Warner Bros. would presumably cease any moves toward officially filing suit.
It's also unclear who originated the video, as some media outlets are proclaiming it was lifted from Reddit. Buzzfeed reports the original video was lifted from Matey Production's YouTube page, where it was posted April 4. Warner Bros. has already blocked the video there on copyright grounds.
This isn't the first time Trump has come under fire for appropriating pop culture references for political purposes. After a "Game of Thrones"-inspired post proclaiming "Sanctions are coming," HBO put out a statement saying they "would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes. How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?"
But it's more difficult to challenge something that could be argued as parody or homage than it is it send out a cease and desist over blatant use of copyrighted music. In fact, the music industry has found itself over and over again issuing statements demanding politicians -- including Trump -- stop using their music for campaign purposes.
Another avenue available to the president is to simply re-score the current campaign video with music he is authorized to use, original music or something from the public domain. In other words, it's his move now.