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The Copyrightability of Twitter Posts 183

TechDirt has an interesting look at some of the questions arising about the copyrightability of Twitter messages. I haven't seen any actual copyright lawyers weigh in yet, but it certainly will be interesting to watch the feathers fly until someone nails down the answer. "[...] it seems like there would be two issues here. The first is whether or not the content is covered by copyright — and, for most messages the answer would probably be yes (there would need to be some sort of creative element to the messages to make that happen, so a simple 'hi' or 'thanks' or whatever might not cut it). But, the more important question then would be whether or not ESPN could quote the Twitter message. And, there, the answer is almost certainly, yes, they could, just as they could quote something you wrote in a blog post."
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The Copyrightability of Twitter Posts

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:57PM (#27393387)

    Could it be that we make fun of Twitter because the majority of people actually think we care about their day-to-day bullshit? I've seen "accomplished" bloggers tell everyone how they went to a book store and found a great book they'd been looking for. Then 15 minutes later "ooooh, I'm reading the book", as though we thought they'd leave the damn thing unread for a year. Two hours later "This book is pretty intense".

    Might as well be:
    "Sitting down to take a shit"

    "eww, smells like asparagus doesn't agree with me"

    "damn, this one's gonna hang and break, and I'm gonna have to wipe even more"

    "remind me to never eat at Joe's again"

    Instead they could have written "hey, I read this great book I bought yesterday and it was awesome. I'd been looking for it for a while. Highly recommended." One post, under 140 characters and doesn't make it seem like they're a fucking attention whore.

    In short: Look, you aren't famous and you're not going to get your 15 minutes of fame by writing utter drivel. The odds are against you and if you're not famous now, writing bullshit ain't gonna endear us to you enough to get you nominated for an Oscar. You're probably mediocre and should accept it that most of us don't care any more than that 13 year old girl cares about your hemorrhoid problems when you tell her in the checkout line.

  • Re:140 Characters? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Monday March 30, 2009 @05:11PM (#27393565) Journal

    Ok. Plan B: I'll write a perl program to enumerate all possible 140 character combinations and post them all to Twitter. Then I'll sue anyone else who posts for copyright infringement! That'll show them who's boss!

    27^140 = 2.45995398 x 10^200

    Good luck with that... and that's assuming that twitter posters are only using 26 letters and a space!

  • Re:This is absurd. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday March 30, 2009 @05:37PM (#27393863) Journal

    Whatever happened to the purpose of copyright being promotion of science and the useful arts?

    You have got to be kidding.

    If we ever get the "free market" that lots of people seem to believe in, we'll be paying fees for breathing. That's how it works: people who get lots of money get power. When they get power, they pass laws which help them get more money. The money has to come from somewhere, and the easiest target is the set of people who don't have lots of money or power. That's about all of us.

Neutrinos have bad breadth.