A song played at various Donald Trump meetings and speeches that become known as a QAnon anthem has been removed from YouTube and Spotify after the song’s creator claimed it was used by Trump and others without proper permissions.
In an email to NBC News, composer Will Van De Crommert wrote that he was “exploring legal options” and that “this particular song, originally called Mirrors, is available for online licensing. However, I was not notified of any licensing for political rallies, nor have I authorized such use.”
A YouTube representative said in an email on Monday that the company “deleted the video in question for violating our harassment policy, which prohibits content targeting anyone by suggesting they are complicit in a conspiracy theory used to justify violence, such as QAnon. ”
A Spotify representative said that “the content in question has been removed following an infringement claim.”
Van De Crommert is a composer who uploads music online, wherever it is license available. His music has been used by CBS and NBC (NBC is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News). He first released the song “Mirrors” in 2019 and uploaded it to various platforms. The song is a drastic and sombre composition without lyrics.
The song was uploaded to YouTube and Spotify in 2020 by another user with the screen name “Richard Feelgood” under the title “Wwg1wga”, which is short for the QAnon conspiracy theory slogan “Where we go, we all go”. in addition to other uploads with QAnon names. That user did not respond to a request for comment.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that revolves around an anonymous online poster going through Q. Conspiracy theorists believe Q is sending messages about Trump, who followers say is taking down a child trafficking ring run by a clique of global elites.
Van De Crommert said the uploads in question are identical to his and that he has no association with the account that put his music online alongside QAnon language.
“I disagree with QAnon’s views, and this person has unlawfully distributed my music under his own name,” he said.
After the song was published under the name QAnon, it caught the attention of conspiracy theorists. It has been viewed more than 75,000 times on YouTube.
In August, Trump’s account on conservative-leaning video website Rumble posted a video use the song as background music. Users on a pro-Trump forum and a Telegram channel quickly identified the song using the sound recognition app Shazam, citing it as proof that the QAnon conspiracy theory was real, according to Media affairs for Americaa liberal watchdog organization.
Trump first spoke about the song at a rally in Pennsylvania in September, according to: The Washington Post.
However, it gained national attention when he played it while speaking at a meeting in Ohio later that month. Audience members raised their index fingers in response, seemingly making a “one” gesture that some interpreted as a reference to the WWG1WGA QAnon slogan. Later that week, the song was played in North Carolina at another Trump rally.