Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Tweets to be Published on My Blog


Lesson learned: always read the Terms of Service (TOS) before signing up and posting on a service--know what rights are being assigned to third-party applications.

Twitter is pretty much open source, which is okay for everyday tweets. I get the concept: allow third party feeds access to content with the idea that one's tweets "going viral" would be very possible.

FYI, a link to Twitter's TOS.

This paragraph is especially important to note:

The Twitter service makes it possible to post images and text hosted on Twitter to outside websites. This use is accepted (and even encouraged!). However, pages on other websites which display data hosted on Twitter.com must provide a link back to Twitter.
For those of us who are creating original creative work, especially anonymously, Twitter may be the wrong place. Who would stop a third party from claiming rights to a writer's content?

Twitter does respect copyright and offers remedies for writers to lay claim to their original work:

Copyright (What's Yours is Yours)

We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Twitter service. Your profile and materials uploaded remain yours. You can remove your profile at any time by deleting your account. This will also remove any text and images you have stored in the system.

We encourage users to contribute their creations to the public domain or consider progressive licensing terms.

Twitter undertakes to obey all relevant copyright laws. We will review all claims of copyright infringement received and remove content deemed to have been posted or distributed in violation of any such laws. To make a claim, please provide us with the following:

A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or the person authorized to act on its behalf;

A description of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed;

A description of the infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit Twitter to locate the material;

Your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and email;

A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of 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 the pains and penalties of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
All claims to copyright must be snail mailed or faxed (with the writer's signature).

One can understand why Twitter would require such comprehensive proof, but what does this mean for anonymous writers? Once one's work is out there on the internet, how would an anonymous writer lay claim to his or her work without revealing one's identity? What would stop someone else from claiming a tweet as his or her own?

At some point, I expect to reveal my identity. Meanwhile, I need to protect my intellectual property, so my future creative tweets will appear on Anonymous, a sister blog to Just A Writer. I'm now in the process of copying my past tweets on the new blog. On Twitter, I'll post info and links back to the blog about the Flash Story. Followers can then decide whether or not to link to the story.


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