The Documentalist

New Twitter Terms Potentially Impact Archiving

Posted in Archiving Solutions, Twitter by Sarah on September 15, 2009
The confusing world of copyright.  Image courtesy of vtualerts.

The confusing world of copyright. Image courtesy of vtualerts.com.

Twitter Announces New Copy Right Terms

On September 10, 2009,  Twitter announced that they have updated their copyright terms for user posts (see their blog at http://blog.twitter.com/ for an overview).  Previously, Twitter simply assured that users’ posts were their own, but encouraged people to consider their material as part of the public domain.  The new terms specify that,  whereas tweets are the property of users, they automatically enter into the public domain. Furthermore, users–by virtue of agreeing to Twitter’s terms and conditions–grant Twitter the right to world-wide distribution of tweets, as well as the right to distribute Tweets to outside organizations for purposes of media coverage or research.

I’ve included Twitter’s original terms of use and their new terms below so that you can compare and contrast.  It appears that the new terms may allow for straightforward harvesting and archiving of Twitter tweets.

Twitter’s original copyright statement:

Copyright (What’s Yours is Yours)

1. 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.

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

3. 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.

(Source: http://twitter.com/tos accessed 8/28/2009 at 1:00 pm.  N.B.–clicking on the link to the left will take you to the new terms and conditions of use)

Twitter’s new copyright statement:

Your rights

You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

TIP: This license is you authorizing us to make your Tweets available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. But what’s yours is yours – you own your content.

You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.

TIP: Twitter has an evolving set of rules for how API developers can interact with your content. These rules exist to enable an open ecosystem with your rights in mind.

Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.

We may modify or adapt your Content in order to transmit, display or distribute it over computer networks and in various media and/or make changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to any requirements or limitations of any networks, devices, services or media.

You are responsible for your use of the Services, for any Content you provide, and for any consequences thereof, including the use of your Content by other users and our third party partners. You understand that your Content may be rebroadcasted by our partners and if you do not have the right to submit Content for such use, it may subject you to liability. Twitter will not be responsible or liable for any use of your Content by Twitter in accordance with these Terms. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the rights granted herein to any Content that you submit.

Twitter gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive license to use the software that is provided to you by Twitter as part of the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the Services as provided by Twitter, in the manner permitted by these Terms.

Twitter Rights

All right, title, and interest in and to the Services (excluding Content provided by users) are and will remain the exclusive property of Twitter and its licensors. The Services are protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of both the United States and foreign countries. Nothing in the Terms gives you a right to use the Twitter name or any of the Twitter trademarks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. Any feedback, comments, or suggestions you may provide regarding Twitter, or the Services is entirely voluntary and we will be free to use such feedback, comments or suggestions as we see fit and without any obligation to you.

(Source: http://twitter.com/tos accessed 9/15/2009 at 10:45 am)

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