Navigating Copyrightability of Tweets Under Indian & US Copyright Law: Is There or Is There Not?
International Journal of Legal Sciences & Research, 2016
420 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2016
Date Written: February 4, 2016
Recently, on the complaint of a Los Angeles based freelance writer, Twitter pulled down tweets of stolen jokes on grounds of copyright infringement. In light of this action by Twitter and given its exponential popularity, a renewed debate has arisen over the intellectual property rights of its users. The last time a similar controversy arose was when Mark Cuban – the owner of Mavericks Dallas, a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas (United States) posted a question about copyrightability of tweets. As with any medium of mass communication, there is a high probability for a tweet to be original but whether copyright law comes to the rescue of tweets is not bereft of legal and practical challenges. Through this note, the author seeks to delve into the question whether copyright protection subsists for tweets under the current framework of the Indian and US Copyright law, concluding that protection cannot be ruled out in some circumstances.
Keywords: Copyright Law, Fair Use, Terms of Service, Indian Copyright Act, 1957
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