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Understanding Twitter’s New Copyright and DMCA Policy

January 9, 2013 Posted by admin
Understanding Twitter’s New Copyright and DMCA Policy

Copyright issues can sometimes be a gray area in the online world. These days, many users, both individuals and organizations, have complained about copyright infringement on their social media posts and updates. Although other users can share other user’s updates, it is, needless to say, important to acknowledge the source of information.

To address the issue of copyright infringement, Twitter had updated its copyright policy for better transparency. The new policy indicates that tweets that are reported will be withheld instead of removed. This will provide users and followers more information on the violation.

Previously, tweets that were requested for removal due to copyright issues were removed after approval. This offered followers a dead link when they tried to access the tweet. The policy has been changed so that, now, when a complaint on a tweet has been approved, Twitter will replace the tweet with this message: “Tweet Withheld. This Tweet from @Username has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder.”

What does this mean for businesses? First of all, if a business discovers a violation of its brand, website, or images, it can file a complaint to Twitter. This creates added protection from unwarranted use of a business's name and intellectual property. Secondly, it serves to legitimize content that is posted by encouraging people to cite their sources...for a business, this could mean indirect brand recognition.

Based on the DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, complaints that Twitter will respond to are: unauthorized use of copyrighted images, unauthorized use of copyrighted images uploaded through Twitter’s photo hosting service, and tweets that contain links to infringing materials. Businesses that want to report a copyright violation can file a complaint at Twitter’s Help Center.

Online businesses that want to strengthen their copyrights can look to a social media marketing company to help them ensure that their copyrighted images, brand name, and logos are not used by other users without proper authorization. Social media companies understand the ins and outs of these sites' policies and can therefore help a business protect their name and resources properly.

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