Twitter Started Filtering for Content IndustryOne of the most popular social networking websites in the world – Twitter – has recently started taking down tweets that are in breach of copyright legislation.
It seems that the content industry has been leaning on the social service to pull messages that violated copyright. It is still unclear how it can be technically possible, as a 140-character message would be well within what any court would regard as “fair use”.
Apparently, the tweets are targeted where people provide links to content which the entertainment industry says is pirated. Twitter has published a new policy, saying that it isn’t actually censoring the publications – it is just “withdrawing” them and revealing why they go missing. In fact, this puts some handy spin on the microblog’s actions – instead of standing up to the content industry’s insane censorship campaign, the website can argue that it’s just bringing in new transparency to the DMCA process. The matter is that earlier the complaints caused posts to disappear without a trace, and now users can see where the tweet used to be.
However, thus far Twitter hasn’t provided any explanations to the users, so they are still wondering how the tweets could actually be taken down under the DMCA legislation. The matter is that the DMCA grants online entities like Twitter or Google immunity for copyrighted content posted by their users. Nevertheless, the companies have to remove their members’ content if they receive a notice from a rights holder. In response, the target of the notice can send a counter-notice and demand to reinstate their tweet. Microblog is supposed to withhold the post until it gets a valid counter-response from its author. Previously, Twitter just removed the tweet without any explanation, and then manually reposted it in case of receiving a valid counter response.