Entertainment company apologises for copyright striking tweets

Have you ever read something so bizarre you couldn’t believe it was happening in real life?

That’s the case with a story involving entertainment firm Starz and an article from TorrentFreak.

Last week TorrentFreak published an article which revealed that a number of unreleased TV series, including American Gods, had appeared on piracy sites.

As is custom with TorrentFreak, the publication didn’t link to any of the pirated content or even make mention of the sites through which the content was obtained. The publication did publish screenshots of the content but we’d argue that this was simply to add gravitas to the story.

Starz seemingly disagreed with our assessment because shortly after publishing the story a tweet promoting it was taken down by a The Social Element Agency acting on behalf of Starz. Things get stranger when Torrentfreak also had tweets promoting the story about the take down, taken down.

Still with us? Good, because things got even more out of hand later when tweets from other people sharing the story were taken down as well.

This includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation which said, “Articles reporting on true events are textbook examples of fair use. Using the DMCA in this way is an attack on journalism and fair use.”

So what did Starz have to say in its defense?

“The techniques and technologies employed in these efforts are not always perfect, and as such it appears that in this case, some posts were inadvertently caught up in the sweep that may fall outside the DMCA guidelines,” a statement from Starz sent to Variety reads.

“That was never our intention and we apologize to those who were incorrectly targeted. We are in the process of reviewing all of the impacted posts as well as the scope and procedure for the previous takedowns and are working with our vendors to reinstate any such content that was inappropriately targeted for removal.”

While we understand there is a process with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, it’s becoming increasingly clear that big firms are abusing their ability to strike content leaving creators to fight for content which should be protected under fair use.

While creators can fight copyright claims, the fact that fearing copyright strikes when working under the protection of fair use is still an issue needs to be addressed.

Perhaps it’s time to take a look at the DMCA again.


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