Tweeting Copyrighted Content? Now Everyone Will Know
A new Twitter policy, reported late Friday evening, will now show when a tweet has been taken down because of a copyright complaint. Before, these tweets were just removed. Now, the tweet (or media) is replaced in the feed with a tweet that looks like this:
Twitter said that the reason for this policy change is to offer more transparency in processing copyright reports, withholding the tweet instead of removing it. This means that if someone complaints about your tweet, and it gets withheld, all of your followers can see it and can start to ask questions. Below are examples of what your tweet will look like once a complaint has been filed and the tweet is withheld:
Just what is liable for a copyright complaint? According to Twitter's Help Center, the social network "will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, such as:
- allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image as an profile photo, header photo, or background
- allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image uploaded through our photo hosting service
- Tweets containing links to allegedly infringing materials.
The page clarifies that either use of a brand or entity's name, or use of a fictional, are not copyright issues and are handled differently.
Twitter also said that the tweet is withheld until they receive a counter-response from the user (if they ever do), and that they will notify the user when a tweet has been withheld. This counter-response is simply a note saying that the material was taken down in error, and why it's an error. If no counter-response is submitted, then the tweet is forever withheld. Twitter's Help Center does provide information on how to submit a counter-response.
Twitter's copyright policy is part of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which gives impunity to companies like Twitter and Google for copyrighted content that's posted on their sites. However, in exchange, Twitter must make an effort to remove this content from their sites. With this new policy, tweets using or posting copyrighted content aren't just deleted with no explanation, but allow a chance for investigation and for the user to know exactly what was wrong with the tweet.