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Twitter Censorship Social Networks

Twitter Yanks Tweets That Repeat Copyrighted Joke 141

Mark Wilson writes at Beta News: Can a joke be copyrighted? Twitter seems to think so. As spotted by Twitter account Plagiarism is Bad a number of tweets that repeat a particular joke are being hidden from view. The tweets have not been deleted as such, but their text has been replaced with a link to Twitter's Copyright and DMCA policy. Quality of the joke itself aside -- no accounting for taste -- this seems a strange move for a site and service which is largely based around verbatim retransmission of other people's low-character-count declarations, recipes, questions, and Yes, jokes.
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Twitter Yanks Tweets That Repeat Copyrighted Joke

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  • Missing link... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mark Wilson ( 3799011 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @07:24AM (#50184497) Homepage
    ... post seems to be missing a link to the article, so here it is: http://betanews.com/2015/07/25... [betanews.com]
    • Re:Missing link... (Score:4, Informative)

      by narcc ( 412956 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:00AM (#50184623) Journal

      The "joke":

      Saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side.

      • Re:Missing link... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rhazz ( 2853871 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:24AM (#50184671)
        That's either really lame or I don't get it. I suspect it's really lame.
        • Re:Missing link... (Score:5, Informative)

          by hackwrench ( 573697 ) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:52AM (#50184737) Homepage Journal
          It's really lame. It comes from the perspective of someone who believes a juice cleanse is a waste of money so the person who bought one got punished for wasting money when they threw up.
          • ..juice cleanse...

            What the hell is that? Some kind of reverse high colonic for the esophagus?

          • Thanks for the explanation. This is not a joke then, just a quip.

            • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @10:46AM (#50185173) Journal

              Thanks for the explanation. This is not a joke then, just a quip.

              A "quip" is a witty remark. This is a banal remark.

              That someone owns the copyright to it is a huge black mark on our intellectual property laws.

              Here is an example of a quip:

              "I was walking down the street and Jehovah came up next to me and stuck his hand in my pocket, trying to steal my iPhone. This is how I know God is on my side. When I caught Him in the act, we had a laugh and decided to go laugh at the people coming out of the health food store after having a juice cleanse, knowing they'll die young, probably from being so gullible."

          • by Smurf ( 7981 )

            They threw up? I thought it just meant that they let the cup slip from their hands and the expensive juice literally got spilled (on the sidewalk).

            But yeah, it's lame either way.

            • I took it that the juice cleanse was terrifically effective and they lost control of their bowels

              But, I have a potty-mind

          • by popo ( 107611 )

            But this does raise the issue which the "Internet money-machine" loves to ignore: That many (if not most) social networks are basically highly efficient copyright-violation engines.

            The notion that posting copyrighted material falls under "personal use" is highly questionable when giant, multi-billion dollar corporations run the underlying platforms and are directly profiting from the "personal" retransmission and republication of hundreds of millions of pieces of copyrighted works,

        • Or: It's ironic...

          The guy who believes in the juice cleanse is getting mocked by the other guy who believes in an invisible overlord in the sky.

        • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

          I agree, it's probably the most stupid statement ever in a copyright case.

      • The "joke":
        Saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side.

        Don't knock-knock it.

    • Notice that the user has now protected her account. You can only see her Tweets if she unprotects her account. With this publicity, she'll get lots of requests, thus lots of followers.
  • It's turtles all the way down.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Every thing you write (in US at least) is copyright-en by default. So every thin you post (even this post) is copyroght-en. If Twittwe yanks Tweeks over one copyright, then they need to do it for all, or get sued for illegal copyright distribution.

    What this is good thing! So at 140 characters all tweets would be exhausted at copyright-en at about 40^144 tweets, with untill the life of the poster plus 95 years! Twitter is dead! Yeah!

    • Re:Twitter-its (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @07:39AM (#50184551) Journal

      And soon, so will be the English language because that blow you just dealt it sure looks fatal...

    • Re:Twitter-its (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:46AM (#50184715) Homepage

      Every thing you write (in US at least) is copyright-en by default. So every thin you post (even this post) is copyroght-en. If Twittwe yanks Tweeks over one copyright, then they need to do it for all, or get sued for illegal copyright distribution.

      Which is why /. relies on its terms that among other things say:

      By sending or transmitting to us Content, or by posting such Content to any area of the Sites, you grant us and our designees a worldwide, non-exclusive, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers), assignable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to link to, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers), adapt, create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, digitally perform or otherwise use such Content in any media now known or hereafter developed. (...) Further, by submitting Content to the Company, you acknowledge that you have the authority to grant such rights to the Company.

      The catch is of course that the last part might be false, I could be pasting someone else's copyrighted text into a /. comment. Since I can't give a valid license, /. won't have a valid license so they'd have to take it down. Can a 140-character phrase be copyrighted? Yes. absolutely. The courts have found that the phrase "E.T. Phone Home" was infringing when used to sell unlicensed coffee mugs. Though copyrighting a joke sounds like a joke, I can understand wanting credit but not trying to license it.

    • All of this depends on if the original creator of the joke is the person who originally tweeted it. On Twitter, there is an implied, if not explicitly stated, permission to re-use and recombine tweets. However, if the creator of the joke did not tweet it, then those who do tweet it may be violating copyright. Yes, everything you create is copyrighted as soon as you record it in some way. If others use that without your permission, either explicit or implied, then they are violating your copyright. Just beca

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stephen Chadfield ( 7971 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @07:37AM (#50184545) Homepage

    The joke isn't funny.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @07:41AM (#50184559) Journal
    Creating a joke is truly a very creative innovative activity and jokes deserve full measure of copyright protection. Anecdotes are not data, but still: I have so far created less than 20 jokes in total in my life (if you don't count joining the threads like "Nate Silver is so geeky, when his code throws an exception, he catches it before the debugger").

    Having said that, most people would like their jokes to be told again, if possible with attribution. So unless the creator has gone through the process of copyrighting the joke and enforcing it, it seems to be an overkill to enforce it suo motu.

    • Copyrights are automatic and don't need to be registered. In the US a copyright office still exists, but it really shouldn't under the Berne Convention to which the US is a signatory.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're either funny (the jokes will just flow) or you're not (the jokes come to you, hours or days later...and they're still not that good.)

      It's just sad when somebody who isn't actually funny puts a huge effort into trying to force it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2015 @07:50AM (#50184581)

    Quality of the joke itself aside - no accounting for taste - this seems a strange move for a site and service which is largely based around verbatim retransmission of other people's low-character-count declarations, recipes, questions, and Yes, jokes.

  • It takes a good actor to deliver it convincingly. Not the joke. It being funny.

    I'd rather have this piece of dung being forgotten than copyrighted. But yes, of course jokes are creative work and can be copyrighted. Even though in this time and age, and this copyright, I'd rather not. It's one thing if the latest and greatest crap some whining buoy howled cannot be distributed (and it would actually do the world a great favor if it wasn't), but laughter and humor should not be reigned in.

  • Details (Score:5, Informative)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:03AM (#50184631) Journal

    The joke is stupid; "Saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side". Honestly, why anyone would want to claim that is beyond me.

    From digital spy:
    Olga Lexell, a freelance writer in LA, is allegedly the first person to publish this joke to Twitter. Tweeting this afternoon, she confirmed that she did file a request to get the messages removed.

    Well Olga, your shitty joke will now be an example of the Streisand effect.

    • Re:Details (Score:5, Informative)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:29AM (#50184679) Homepage Journal
      Yes but now everyone will associate that joke with its author, so she won't feel like nobody knows that the world's worst attempt at a joke was written by her.
    • Streisand effect.

      AKA: Free Advertising

    • by lhaeh ( 463179 )

      Well Olga, your shitty joke will now be an example of the Streisand effect.

      It is also possibly an example of viral marketing.

    • Olga Lexell, a freelance writer in LA, is allegedly the first person to publish this joke to Twitter.

      In LA and NYC, most "freelance writers" are really waiters and waitresses. Maybe the "joke" is funny because its writer works at a juice bar?

    • Well Olga, your shitty joke will now be an example of the Streisand effect.

      I think a lot of people don't realise what this actually means as it gets used a lot in thew wrong context. In this case, the non-name comedian is actually looking for publicity and getting it. There is no Streisand Effect, simply a play at attention which appears to be working.

      • I thought about that, but what I'm terming the Streisand Effect here isn't so much "something bad happened that I don't want people to know about but my complaints publicize it" as a parallel "this is my joke and I don't want people repeating it, but now everyone is going to" and a second-order "I don't want anyone to find out that I purport to be a 'comic writer' but push this astonishingly un-funny joke and ultimately will regret it being associated with me, as well as the general douchiness thing...".

        So

    • Reverse Streisand like a FOX!

  • Saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side

    Is that a joke? It doesn't seem to be a very good one.

    • Somebody else in a different thread had a different interpretation, but here's mine:
      It comes from the perspective of someone who believes a juice cleanse is a waste of money so the person who bought one got punished for wasting money when they threw up.
      • Keep writing your explanation, I am sure people will laugh after its 27th occurrence.

        • My explanation wasn't meant to be funny. When I posted my explanation the first time, I agreed the joke was lame, I like to "get" jokes even if they're not funny and my explanation was one way to get it.
  • by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @08:42AM (#50184705)
    "Peepee"

    Some people giggled, therefore it is a joke and complete work of art, and therefore copyrightable. Nobody can use the word "peepee" without express permission of me.

    Absurd enough yet?

    Because the idea that any statement or phrase, no matter how lame, could be construed as a joke and therefore copyrightable sure is.
    • "Peepee"

      Some people giggled, therefore it is a joke and complete work of art, and therefore copyrightable. Nobody can use the word "peepee" without express permission of me.

      I'm sorry, but "PeepeeTM" has been trademarked by my penis. Any unauthorized use of the word "Peepee" or the color yellow is strictly prohibited.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      "Peepee"

      So, you're saying you want Twitter to yank your peepee?

  • They can just force something like CC license on user content. It won't work against stuff that have been copyrighted already but works against jokes written in twitter directly.
  • Taking down this joke [youtube.com] is for your own good.

  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <dirk@one.net> on Sunday July 26, 2015 @11:33AM (#50185365) Homepage

    So they banned Carlos Mencia's twitter account?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That anyone repeated that awful joke.

  • "Joke"? I don't see any kind of in-line conflict, anything to misconstrue, any lingual curveball or disruption, anything contradictory (seemingly or actually), or even a pun. I'm not talking about "taste", I'll allow a shitty level of wit, I mean either you pony up some kind of mechanic that's at least ARGUABLY capricious or that word does not fucking apply and the person at each step of the echo chamber tracing back to Original Claim is an idiot.

    With these headlines I normally drop something clever abou
  • Shit, now I have to take time out of my day to watch that episode.

  • Sorry, I can't tell you the rest, it's been redacted

  • Writing a joke is hard work. Sure, it's 140 characters, but it can take a long time of searching out inspiration, research, and then writing and rewriting to get it in its punchiest form. Most of us come up with good ones on our own every once in a while, but producing enough to sustain an online following can be a heavy investment. It's no surprise the producers are leaning on twitter for some protection of their reputation and/or livelihood.

    As usual, though, it is misguided. The difference between a succ

  • This joke would be funnier if it was about a "Jews Cleanse" instead!

  • So if I set up a script that produces all possibly text 140 characters or less and then copyrite them, can I essentially kill Twitter because every tweet possible is now copyrighted?
  • "Saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side."

    Come at me, bro.

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