Now Censoring: Twitter

The world embraced Twitter as a way to get information out quickly, and unfettered. That’s all about to change now that they are introducing new censorship rules. Here’s some of what’s being said on the web now….

“This is very bad news,” tweeted Egyptian activist Mahmoud Salem, who operates under the name Sandmonkey. Later, he wrote, “Is it safe to say that (hash)Twitter is selling us out?”

In China, where activists have embraced Twitter even though it’s blocked inside the country, artist and activist Ai Weiwei tweeted in response to the news: “If Twitter censors, I’ll stop tweeting.”

One often-relayed tweet bore the headline of a Forbes magazine technology blog item: “Twitter Commits Social Suicide”


The web is already up in arms about SOPA, PIPA and the newly discovered ACTA. If you don’t know about ACTA then you better get crackin’ because it’s being deemed a “treaty” and has already been signed!

So after doing some digging in to the records of and it was clear that the Twitter issue is going to become a two headed dragon if allowed to continue. I was reviewing some of the complaints and came across this.

Music DMCA (Copyright) Complaint to Twitter

January 10, 2011

Sender Information:
Universal Music Group (authorized representative: Recording Industry Association of
Sent by:
RIAA Online Anitpiracy
Washington, DC, 20004, USA

Recipient Information: Twitter
San Francisco, CA, 94107, USA

Sent via: online form
Re: Infringement Notification via Twitter Complaint

DMCA Takedown Notice:

Reporter: I am an authorized representative of the copyright owner.
Copyright owner: Universal Music Group (authorized representative: Recording Industry Association of America, Inc.)
Job title: Online Anitpiracy

City: Washington
State/Province: DC
Country: USA

Reported Twitter account: @ronworthy

Reported material on Twitter: Tweet(s)

Description of original work: Sound and video recordings as performed by the artist known as Jay-Z.

Description of infringement: This account is providing access to unauthorized copies of sound and video recordings owned by an RIAA member company.

Reported Tweet URL:!/ronworthy/status/156764380288122880

Where does this Tweet link to?: The Tweet links to another website where the infringing material is made available.

Where is the infringing material?: The linked website links to another website where the infringing material is available for display or download.

Infringing material still available?: I have confirmed that the infringing material is available for display or download at the linked site as of the submission of this notice.


512(f) Acknowledgment: I understand that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), I may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, if I knowingly materially misrepresent that reported material or activity is infringing.

Good Faith Belief: I have 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.

Authority to Act: The information in this notification is accurate, and I state under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

Signature: [redacted]

So here we see a DMCA complaint sent to Twitter because of a tweet in which contains a link to an external website that contains copyrighted materials. No sense it trying to see if the tweet still exists; it’s been removed by Twitter and so begins their censorship.

Not having read the tweet myself, I can only assume that the complaint was accurate; I, nor anyone else, can say for certain that it was true and accurate. So now we have a Twitter user being censored because another, external site, is sharing copyrighted materials.


Being a DJ myself, as well as a remixer, I can understand the concern about your works being shared, to an extent. To me, this really seems like two things: overkill and a laziness. I say overkill because this Twitter user isn’t the one sharing the files, they are simply pointing them out. Laziness because these companies are relying on internet users, instead of their own army, to find the copyrighted materials and handle them through the correct channels.

The correct way to go about this would have been for the copyright holder to contact the company or site that is hosting the FILES and demand they be removed; they have no business contacting Twitter and having them remove the tweet.

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