Donald Trump Jr. Tweets a Skittles Copyright Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on October 6, 2016

candy-skittlesOrange County – Donald Trump Jr., son of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, recently posted a controversial Tweet. The image is a white bowl full of rainbow-colored Skittles. The text in the photo says, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Trump added his own text with the photo that reads: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first. #trump2016.” Comparing Syrian refugees to deadly Skittles has put Trump in hot water.

Trump faced intense backlash on social media after he posted the image and his take on the Syrian refugee crisis. Some have compared it to a nod to white supremacy dating back as far as Nazi Germany and anti-semitism. It even gained a response from Wrigley, the owner of Skittles: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing,” the company said in a statement.

Now the Skittles image from the original Tweet has been removed at the request of the photographer due to copyright infringement issues. Ironically, the photographer who took the photo is a refugee himself. UK-based photographer David Kittos immigrated to the United Kingdom with his family in 1974 after fleeing the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. When they arrived in the UK, Kittos was six years old.

Kittos filed a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in order to have the image removed. “The image of a bowl of Skittles is mine and has always been set as “ALL RIGHTS RESERVED” in my Flickr library,” Kittos wrote. “It was copied and is being used WITHOUT my permission. I have never been contacted by Donald Trump Jr. or any representative about the image, before or after it was used in the Tweet.”

Kittos goes on to say: “This was not done with my permission,” he told the BBC. “I don’t support his politics and I would never take his money to use it.” He wondered why Trump didn’t get a generic Skittles photo from a stock image library. He views Trump as stealing the image from his Flickr image library and without giving Kittos credit for the image.

Trump is a top adviser in his father’s presidential campaign. The “opposition to the Obama administration’s plan to dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States has been a crucial plank in (his father) Trump’s platform.”

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