31 January 2022CopyrightMuireann Bolger

Twitter rejects most copyright takedown requests

Twitter dismissed the majority of takedown requests it received from copyright owners despite recording an increase in the overall number of notices in the first half of last year, the social media platform has said in its bi-annual transparency report.

This report includes data on takedown notices filed under the DMCA submitted through its web form or sent to Twitter, such as via fax or mail.

While the notices sent to video-sharing app Periscope fell by 80%, Twitter’s numbers increased by more than a third, according to the study, which was first reported by TorrentFreak,

Increase in Twitter notices

But Twitter stated that only 31% of all takedown requests resulted in ‘removals,’ down from 59% during the previous reporting period.

When combining the numbers of Twitter and live video-sharing app Periscope, there was a 6% increase in requests filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), up from 169,000 to 179,000.

It also showed that the compliance rate dropped to an all-time low in the latest reporting period.

However, the percentage of 'withheld' tweets and media has dropped to an all-time low to 49% and 18%, respectively.

According to Twitter’s data, complaints issued by Universal Music Group, OpSec Online,  Leak ID, La Liga, and IFPI comprise more than a third of all takedown notices received during the reporting period. Of these, the notices from music group IFPI resulted in the most withheld items,(439,000), more than a quarter of all of the removals.

According to the social media platform, most takedown requests processed resulted in no action on the grounds that they were incomplete, fraudulent or not actionable.

High profile ‘Trump’ complaints

Twitter confirmed that a few high-profile DMCA takedown notices have been sent to the platform, including several that took umbrage at tweets made by former US President Donald Trump.

Despite the increased non-compliance, Twitter says that it carefully reviews each notice and won’t take action if requests are incomplete or fraudulent. It also does the same for content that is fair use, it said.

The platform provides affected account holders with a copy of the related DMCA takedown notice when their media or Tweets are withheld, it said.

The notification includes instructions on how to file a counter-notice, in case they believed the content was removed in error, and also how to seek a retraction from the person who filed the notice.

Twitter stated that it does not withhold content in response to DMCA takedown notices that are incomplete, do not concern copyright issues, or that it determines to be fraudulent, and that it carefully reviews each notice, and follows up with the filer as appropriate.

It added that there may be certain uses of copyrighted material that do not require the copyright owner’s permission, such as political speech, content that is potentially newsworthy, or cases of apparent fair use. This type of speech is protected under UN-recognised principles of free expression and may not violate Twitter’s copyright policy, the platform added.

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