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Twitter DMCA: How To Prevent and Stop Copyright Infringement

Dee

July 21, 2023 | 10 min read

From July 2021 to December 2021, Twitter received over 150,000 takedown notices. During this period, these requests affected more than 600,000 accounts. The social media world is full of these copyright notices, as content is the currency on these platforms. Twitter does recognize the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). When the platform receives a report, it goes through the process to understand whether the content violates copyright laws. But what is a Twitter DMCA violation? Is there any way to know if your tweets break the copyright policy

How do you avoid Twitter DMCA strikes against your account? This guide will help you understand DMCA and its impact on Twitter accounts. It also covers a variety of topics to give you clarity on this subject.

A typewriter with the words “Copyright Claim” on a piece of paper.

Twitter DMCA: What Does Copyright Mean?

Before explaining DMCA violations on Twitter, you need to know about copyrights. Think of it as a shield that protects your work after you create it. What does work entail in this domain? It can be anything like photographs, programs you create, the music you compose, original videos or blog posts you write. In other words, it is something you make, physically or digitally. 

So, when does it become original? You can call the work original if you create it independently using your creativity. Or, you don’t copy from others during the creation process. However, this doesn’t apply to concepts, ideas, techniques and systems. For example, you can’t copyright something only by thinking about it. 

In fact, you have to capture it in some form to become the copyright owner. It can be on a piece of paper or a document you create. To put it across in simple terms, if you record or write the work, it becomes fixed. This means you can reproduce or share your content at any time. 

According to copyright protection laws, no one can copy an author’s work for 70 years after death. This is inclusive of the copyright owner’s lifespan. If there is more than one creator, the duration is 70 years after the last contributor’s death. These are applicable for any content after January 1, 1978. 

Any work published before January 1, 1928, comes under the public domain. Public domain means no individual or organization has exclusive rights. This means anyone can use it without worrying about copyright infringement. For example, you can use audio recordings 1923 in your video. This is because of the Music Modernization Act. Any recordings before 1923 will enter the public domain after December 31, 2021.

What Is DMCA Violation Twitter?

So, what is a DMCA violation on Twitter? If you copy and distribute the original author’s work without their permission, it falls under copyright infringement. The platform considers it a violation even if you don’t try to gain financially from the content. For example, you upload a video containing an artist’s music without permission to use it. The artist or a representative can file a Twitter DMCA takedown request against your post.

How to File a DMCA Takedown Notice on Twitter?

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If you notice anyone using your work without your permission, you can file a DMCA takedown notice on Twitter. The platform will examine your report to determine if it is a copyright infringement. It can be content in the header image, profile photo or media in tweets. Below is a comprehensive explanation of Twitter DMCA takedown requests.

Twitter DMCA: What Is Fair Use?

Before you send a Twitter DMCA takedown notice, check if the work falls within the fair use policy. You need to analyze the content from four perspectives to see whether it comes under fair use:

  1. What is the work’s purpose?

Did the account using your content do something to transform it? Did they add social commentary? Or improve the content by adding new information? It comes under fair use if they change your content for non-commercial purposes.

  1. What’s in the copied work?

Look at the copied content. Did the user take your work from an unpublished or published project? You should see the nature of the work. Does it fall under the fictional or factual category? Factual content and published projects mean there’s a higher chance the work belongs to fair use. For example, you create a table about the cost of eating at home vs. in a restaurant. The information you use is publicly available and doesn’t require creativity, so it falls under the factual category.

  1. How much of your work did the user copy?

To what extent did the user copy your work? Was it the entire project or only a section of the content? Also, did the user take it from the core of the work?

Ideally, it’s fair use if the person copies only tiny sections. But, if it comes from the project’s core, it may come under copyright infringement.

  1. What is the impact of the copied content on the value of your work?

If the copied content behaves like a substitute and reduces your revenue, this isn’t a fair use of your content. For example, you share a link to purchase your original video in your tweet. Another user also posts a tweet to download your content for free. This falls under copyright infringement. 

Twitter DMCA: Sending a Takedown Notice

The purpose of seeing whether the content falls under fair use is to ensure you have a valid claim. After all, not every work a user copies requires permission from the author. For example, if it is parody content, the person has considerable room to copy. A lawyer can clear all doubts if you’re unsure whether the copied work qualifies for fair use. Let’s assume the attorney gives you the green light, or you’re 100% sure the content infringes your copyright. You can send the user a Twitter DMCA takedown notice in this situation. 

There are three ways to approach the person copying your work:

  1. Your lawyer drafts and sends the user a demand letter. It should let the person know their content is infringing on your copyright. You can ask them to remove the post from Twitter. Or, if they were using your work for commercial purposes, you can ask them for a settlement.
  2. If the demand letter fails, the next step is to file a DMCA takedown notice on Twitter. You must fill out a form, and the platform reviews your application. If it’s valid, Twitter will send a takedown notice to the offending party.
  3. The last way is to take the user to court for copyright infringement. Only go this route if the above two methods fail. This is because these cases are expensive. If the user is from a different country, they may not comply with your request. Also, there’s the chance the court may not rule in your favor. 

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What Is DMCA Counter Notice Twitter?

What if you get a Twitter DMCA takedown notice from another user? But you know you’re not infringing on the person’s copyright as it falls under fair use. Or, you believe it was a mistake, and the author misidentified your content as their original work. In this case, you can file a DMCA counter notice on Twitter. What does this mean? Well, it is a request to the platform asking them to restore your content. 

When you send this notice to the person reporting your work, they have up to 10 business days to respond. They can take legal action if they continue to state that your work falls under copyright infringement. Also, the social media network will uphold the takedown request. However, the platform will restore your content if the user doesn’t reply to your counterclaim.

You have to fill out a DMCA counter notice form. If the platform confirms you have a valid claim, it will send the counter notice to the reporter.  

How To Check DMCA Strikes on Twitter?

It’s common to receive Twitter DMCA takedown notices from other users. This is because of the nature of social media and how easy it makes to share content. For example, you find a trending video and retweet the post. However, the video contains sections that fall under copyright infringement. But you didn’t know about this while sharing the content. As a result, the copyright owner sends takedown requests to everyone, including you. If Twitter considers the claim legitimate, it will send you a copy of the DMCA notice to your email. Also, it will remove or prevent access to the content. The email address is the same as the one associated with your Twitter account. What if you missed the email or didn’t receive one? How do you check DMCA strikes on Twitter?

You can use Lumen, which has a database of all copyright strikes and takedown requests. Visit the website and enter your username in the search bar. Select Go, and Lumen will search their database for legal requests. 

Although Twitter doesn’t state this clearly, your account can get up to 6 DMCA strikes. If you get one more, the platform hands out a permanent account suspension

How To Avoid Twitter DMCA Strikes on Your Account?

Dealing with Twitter DMCA strikes is challenging because of their impact on your account. Imagine you work for hours only to receive a takedown request when you post a tweet. Not only are there legal consequences, but they also hurt your credibility. 

Given below are four methods you can use to avoid copyright infringement:

  1. Always ask the copyright owner for permission before you use their work. You can draft a formal agreement to ensure no room for miscommunication. This way, the original author will be on the same page as you.
  2. Try to create original content on Twitter. When you produce original work, people will appreciate the effort. Also, it allows you to share your viewpoints and establish yourself as a credible figure.
  3. Use websites like Unsplash, Storyblocks and Pixabay that offer royalty-free images, music and videos. They allow you to use their content as they come with a license for commercial use.
  4. Credit the copyright owner and all other artists in the content. Acknowledging their effort and work goes a long way.

A notebook with an empty list containing four points.

What To Do After You Get a Twitter DMCA Takedown Notice?

When you receive a Twitter DMCA takedown request, see if it falls under fair use. If this is true, you can file a counter-notice. What should you do if the content clearly infringes on the original author’s copyright? You should comply with the request and remove the post in this situation.

But this doesn’t mean it takes care of the DMCA strike. The copyright owner must file a retraction to remove the claim. You can contact the original author and ask them to retract the DMCA takedown request. 
Sometimes, you can post copyright-infringing material for years and still not get any takedown notices. However, you must remove the offending material if the original author or their representative files a claim. As there are hundreds or thousands of posts, deleting them is a time-consuming process. Instead, you can use TweetEraser and remove all copyright-infringing posts within a few minutes. Its exclusive advanced filter will help you find all these posts. Make sure your account doesn’t receive a suspension by keeping it free from copyright-infringing material!

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