What types of copyright complaints does Twitter respond to?
Twitter responds to copyright complaints submitted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Section 512 of the DMCA outlines the statutory requirements necessary for formally reporting copyright infringement, as well as providing instructions on how an affected party can appeal a removal by submitting a compliant counter-notice.
Twitter will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, such as allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image as a profile or header photo, allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted video or image uploaded through our media hosting services, or Tweets containing links to allegedly infringing materials. Note that not all unauthorized uses of copyrighted materials are infringements (see our fair use article for more information).
If you are concerned about the use of your brand or entity’s name, please review Twitter’s trademark policy. If you are concerned about a parody, newsfeed, commentary, or fan account, please see the relevant policy here. These are generally not copyright issues.
Am I a copyright holder? How do I know?
If you are unsure whether you hold rights to a particular work, please consult an attorney or another adviser as Twitter cannot provide legal advice. There are plenty of resources to learn more about copyright law including http://copyright.gov, https://lumendatabase.org/, and http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/IP, to name a few.
What to consider before submitting a copyright complaint
Before submitting a copyright complaint to us, please consider whether or not the use could be considered fair use.
If you have considered fair use, and you still wish to continue with a copyright complaint, you may want to first reach out to the user in question to see if you can resolve the matter directly with the user. You can reply to the user’s Tweet or send the user a Direct Message and ask for them to remove your copyrighted content without having to contact Twitter.
Prior to submitting a formal complaint with Twitter, please be aware that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), you may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees incurred by us or our users, if you knowingly materially misrepresent that material or activity is infringing. If you are unsure whether the material you are reporting is in fact infringing, you may wish to contact an attorney before filing a notification with us.
Note: In general, the photographer and NOT the subject of a photograph is the actual rights holder of the resulting photograph. If you’re unsure whether or not you own the copyrights to a work, or if you’re infringing upon someone else’s work, please consult an attorney or another advisor.
What information do you need to process a copyright complaint?
To submit a notice of claimed copyright infringement, you will need to provide us with the following information:
- A physical or electronic signature (typing your full name will suffice) of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf;
- Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed (e.g., a link to your original work or clear description of the materials allegedly being infringed upon);
- Identification of the infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit Twitter to locate the material on our website or services;
- Your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and an email address;
- A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner asserted is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement that the information in the complaint is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
If you are reporting the content of a Tweet, please give us a direct link to that Tweet. Or please specify if the alleged infringement is in the header, avatar, etc. A LINK TO A PROFILE PAGE IS INSUFFICIENT FOR TWITTER TO IDENTIFY INFRINGING MATERIALS.
How do I file a copyright complaint?
You can report alleged copyright infringement by visiting Twitter’s Help Center and filing a copyright complaint. If you are logged in to twitter.com, you can visit the Twitter Help Center directly from your Twitter account by clicking the ‘Help’ link located in the sidebar.
Filing a DMCA complaint is the start of a pre-defined legal process. Your complaint will be reviewed for accuracy, validity, and completeness. If your complaint has satisfied these requirements, we will take action on your request - which includes forwarding a full copy of your notice (including your name, address, phone and email address) to the user(s) who posted the allegedly infringing material in question.
If you are concerned about your contact information being forwarded, you may wish to use an agent to report for you.
Please be aware that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), you may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees incurred by us or our users, if you knowingly materially misrepresent that material or activity is infringing. If you are unsure whether the material you are reporting is in fact infringing, you may wish to contact an attorney before filing a copyright complaint.
How are claims processed?
We process copyright complaints in the order in which they are received. Once you've submitted your ticket, we will email you a ticket confirmation. If you do not receive a ticket confirmation that means we did not receive your complaint and you should re-submit your complaint. However, please note, submitting duplicate copyright complaints will result in a delay in processing.
If we decide to remove or disable access to the material, we will notify the affected user(s) and provide them with a full copy of the reporter’s complaint (including the provided contact information) along with instructions on how to file a counter-notice. We will also forward a redacted copy of the complaint to Lumen, with your personal information removed.
What information gets forwarded to the reported user(s)?
If we remove or disable access to the materials reported in a copyright complaint, the reported user(s) will receive a copy of the complaint, including the reporter’s full name, email, street address, and any other information included in the complaint.
If you are uncomfortable sharing your contact information with the reported user(s), you may wish to consider appointing an agent to submit your DMCA notice on your behalf. Your agent will be required to submit the DMCA notice with valid contact information, and identify you as the content owner that they are representing.
What happens next?
Twitter’s response to copyright complaints may include the removal or restriction of access to allegedly infringing material. If we remove or restrict access to user content in response to a copyright complaint, Twitter will make a good faith effort to contact the affected account holder with information concerning the removal or restriction of access, including a full copy of the complaint, along with instructions for filing a counter-notice.
If you’ve not yet received a copy of the copyright complaint regarding the content removed from your account, please respond to the support ticket we sent you. If your complaint involves removal of content from Periscope, please see this help center article regarding how to request a copy of your complaint.
In an effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user-posted content, we clearly mark withheld Tweets and media to indicate to viewers when content has been withheld (examples below). We also send a redacted copy of each copyright complaint and counter-notice that we process to Lumen, where they are posted to a public-facing website (with your personal information removed).
My content was removed from Twitter
If you receive a copyright complaint, it means that access to the content described in the complaint has been restricted. Please take the time to read through our correspondence to you, which includes information on the complaint we received as well as instructions on how to file a counter-notice. Please ensure that you are monitoring the email address associated with your Twitter account.
Tip: Removing the material reported in a copyright complaint will not resolve that complaint.
If you believe that the materials reported in the copyright complaints
were misidentified or removed in error, you may send us a counter-notification(s). A counter-notice is a request for Twitter to reinstate the removed material, and it has legal consequences. Alternatively, you may be able to seek a retraction of the copyright complaint from the reporter.
The DMCA complaint you received includes the contact information of the reporter. You may want to reach out and ask them to retract their notice. The reporter can send retractions to email@example.com, and should include: (1) identification of the material that was disabled, and (2) a statement that the reporter would like to retract their DMCA notice. This is the fastest and most efficient means of resolving an unresolved copyright complaint. A retraction is at the sole discretion of the original reporter.
A counter-notice is a request for Twitter to reinstate the removed material, and is the start of a legal process that has legal consequences. For example, submitting a counter notice indicates that you consent to the jurisdiction of a U.S. Federal court and that you consent to the disclosure of your personal information to the reporter and Lumen website.
With these considerations in mind, you may file a counter-notice if you believe that this material was misidentified, or you have a good faith belief that the material should not have been removed. If you’re unsure whether or not you should file a counter-notice, you may want to consult with an attorney.
Tip: Re-posting material removed in response to a copyright complaint may result in permanent account suspension. If you believe the content was removed in error, please file a counter-notice rather than re-posting the material.
To submit a counter-notice, you will need to provide us with the following information:
- A physical or electronic signature (typing your full name will suffice);
- Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled (the description from the copyright notice will suffice);
- A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled; and
- Your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Twitter may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
To submit a counter-notice, please respond to our original email notification of the removal and include the required information in the body of your reply as we discard all attachments for security reasons.
Upon receipt of a valid counter-notice, we will promptly forward a copy to the person who filed the original notice. This means that the contact information that is submitted in your counter-notice will be shared to the person who filed the original notice.
If the copyright owner disagrees that the content was removed in error or misidentification, they may pursue legal action against you. If we do not receive notice within 10 business days that the original reporter is seeking a court order to prevent further infringement of the material at issue, we may replace or cease disabling access to the material that was removed.
We cannot offer any legal advice. Should you have questions, please consult an attorney.
Please think twice before submitting a claim or counter-notice, especially if you are unsure whether you are the actual rights holder or authorized to act on a rights holder’s behalf. There are legal and financial consequences for fraudulent and/or bad faith submissions. Please be sure that you are the actual rights holder, or that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed in error, and that you understand the repercussions of submitting a false claim.
If multiple copyright complaints are received Twitter may lock accounts or take other actions to warn repeat violators. These warnings may vary across Twitter’s services. Under appropriate circumstances we may suspend user accounts under our repeat infringer policy. However, we may take retractions and counter-notices into account when applying our repeat infringer policy.