What Types of Copyright Complaints Does Twitter Respond To?
Twitter responds to copyright notifications 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 the use of a fictional character, please see our parody, commentary, and fan accounts policy. 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.
Tip: In general, the photographer and NOT the subject of a photograph is the actual rights holder of the resulting photograph.
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 notification 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 report. 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 fowarded, 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, as was the case in Lenz v. Universal and OPG v. Diebold. 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.
How Are Claims Processed?
We process reports in the order in which they are received. Once you've submitted your ticket, we will email you a ticket confirmation. Please note, submitting duplicate copyright notices may result in a delay in processing.
If we decide to remove or disable access to the material, we will notify the affected user(s) after removing or disabling access to the material, 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, and forward a redacted copy of the complaint to Lumen.
What Happens Next?
Twitter’s response to notices of alleged copyright infringement 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 notice of alleged infringement, 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 takedown notice, along with instructions for filing a counter-notification.
If you’ve not yet received a copy of the copyright notification regarding the content removed from your account, please respond to the support ticket we sent you.
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).
Under appropriate circumstances, Twitter may suspend and warn repeat violators, and in more serious cases, permanently terminate user accounts.
What Happens If I Receive a Copyright Notification?
If you receive a copyright notification, it means that the content described in the notification has been removed from Twitter or access to the content on Twitter has been restricted. Please take the time to read through our notice to you, which includes information on the notification we received as well as instructions on how to file a counter-notice.
When Should I File a Counter-notice?
If you believe that the material reported in the copyright notification you received was misidentified or removed in error, you should file a counter-notice as per the instructions below.
Re-posting material removed in response to a copyright notification may result in permanent account suspension. If you believe the content was removed in error, please file a counter-notification rather than simply re-posting the material.
What Information Do You Need to Process a Counter-notice?
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.
What Happens After I Submit a Counter-notice?
Upon receipt of a valid counter-notice, we will promptly forward a copy to the person who filed the original notice. 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.
Filing a Copyright Notice or Counter-notice is Serious Business!
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.