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Jokes Included in Twitter's Copyright Policy

Twitter has removed at least 5 separate tweets on copyright grounds for reproducing a joke without permission from the original publisher. The joke was first published by @runolgarun, but it later appeared on several other accounts. First spotted by @PlagiarismBad, the tweets were not deleted as such, but replaced by a link to Twitter’s copyright policy.

In a tweet at the weekend, Lexell confirmed that she requested to have the tweets removed for reproducing her intellectual property without permission. She added that most of the accounts that copied her jokes were spam accounts that reuse other people’s content every day.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Twitter is provided ‘safe harbour’ from claims of copyright infringement as long as it does not try to protect any offending material. Usually, copyright claims concern embedded material like photos and videos, or links to copyrighted material such as illegal media streaming sites – it’s rare that they include the actual text of a tweet. Anyone can submit a request through Twitter’s copyright infringement report page. If Twitter decides a request is valid they can follow through with it and remove or delete the tweet. The offending user is then given 10 days to submit a counter notice.

US copyright law does not always cover short phrases, so tweets are a stretch for traditional copyright law purposes, but Twitter makes its own rules and can apply them how it wants. In the past, Twitter has pushed a hardline pro-free speech stance, but in recent times it has shifted its position on tweet flow to control the type of content that can be viewed and attract a larger user-base. 

Aaron Waterhouse

Aaron is a recent English graduate from Durham University who is now working as a content writer intern. An enthusiastic traveller, he hopes to become a journalist and report from around the world. Follow him @AaronAtSMF

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Jokes Included in Twitter's Copyright Policy Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Rating: 5

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