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Game publisher EA issues YouTube takedown for Mass Effect trailer mashup backing Trump

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By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 5, 2016 | 3 min read

A trailer recasting the protagonist of publisher EA’s sci-fi roleplaying game Mass Effect as GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been pulled from YouTube in response to an alleged copyright breach cast by its sudden emergence as a Make America Great Again ad.

A fan video putting the Donald front and centre in the 2010 trailer for Mass Effect 2, a space-faring title in which one man is tasked with saving the galaxy, was retweeted by Trump before being swiftly canned on YouTube by EA under copyright grounds.

EA argues that Mass Effect's use to support a political campaign voids the fair use it previously enjoyed as a relatively obscure video. Furthermore, the sound assets from the trailer were not correctly attributed.

The video has been reported as a parody by several media outlets, however it was first shared by a Twitter account seemingly in support of Trump’s push.

Trump’s RT has “been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder”. The original tweet is still active however and can be watched below.

An EA spokesperson told Gamespot: "The video was an unauthorized use of our IP, we do not support our assets being used in political campaigns."

The video uses the music and voices from the trailer (featuring the work of actor Martin Sheen who is on the record as an ardent Barack Obama supporter).

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