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Legal Technology: Twitter Becomes More Transparent with Tweets that Violate Copyright Regulations

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November 07, 2012

Twitter Becomes More Transparent with Tweets that Violate Copyright Regulations

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Twitter (News - Alert) has changed its policy on content that may violate copyright regulations – by no longer removing items but withholding tweets.

“We now offer more #transparency in processing copyright reports by withholding Tweets, not removing” (them), Jeremy Kessel, Twitter’s legal policy manager, announced recently in a tweet.

The tweets are those which copyright holders raise concerns about under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The new policy relates to content that includes or links to material which violates copyright regulations. There is more transparency by Twitter, as well.

“Other users can now see what was removed and why, rather than just not being able to see the message,” ZDNet said.

In addition, Twitter’s copyright notices are now placed on the Chilling Effects website. Also, Twitter users can now read tweets made in response to any takedown notices, MediaBistro said.

The new policy is particularly focused on “controversial and legally-ambiguous tweets,” MediaBistro explained.

Instead of the tweets, viewers will now see the following message, “This tweet from @user has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder. Learn more:”

Twitter will also explain how to “contest the challenge,” according to TechHive.

Twitter’s new policy received some praise from organizations concerned about Internet rights.

For example, Corynne McSherry, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said, “It is the right approach.”

“It is progress to have language explaining the takedown," she said.

In a related matter, the issue of copyright infringement impacts may online sites. For instance, Google (News - Alert) gets more than one million copyright requests a month, according to GigaOM.

In other nations, the issue of copyright is getting attention, as well. The Center for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Bournemouth University concludes that copyright in Europe “lasts for too many years and is overly complex,” WebRTC said.

Edited by Brooke Neuman



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