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Twitter outlines takedown stance

05 Nov 2012
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Twitter has posted a set of guidelines designed to help users understand how it handles copyright takedown requests.

The company said that the page will provide clear insight into the microblogging service's handling of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which requires site operators to remove copyright-infringing materials.

Twitter said that in its case, most infringements of the DMCA occur when users post copyrighted photos and links to third-party sites which trade in pirated materials.

Under the policy, Twitter said that it will handle takedown requests through a service ticket process.

Claims will processed in the order they are received and copyright holders will be required to provide a number of materials, including proof of ownership and permission to file the claim, as well as direct links to the infringing tweets themselves, not the user profile page.

"If you are reporting the content of a tweet, please give us a direct link to that tweet following these instructions" the company said.

"Or please specify if the alleged infringement is in the background, avatar, etc."

When a complaint is received and granted, the company said that it will either block access to content or remove the offending posts outright. Though Twitter said it will remove content without permission from the account holder, the company said that it would make efforts to notify users when their tweets are blocked or removed.

Additionally, Twitter said it would also be adhering to a strict set of transparency guidelines, including the posting of takedown complaints on third-party watchdog sites.

"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," Twitter said.

"We also send a copy of each DMCA notification and counter-notice that we process to Chilling Effects, where they are posted to a public-facing website (with your personal information removed)."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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