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The Copyrightability of Twitter Posts

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-taking-it-back-once-you-put-it-on-the-intartubez dept.

The Courts 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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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392763)

twitter is for fags

Re:fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393135)

-1 Troll? aww.. This is the most informative first-post in ages; if any -1 score applies, it's "-1 Redundant", as everybody (with a clue) already knows that Twitter is the second-most-worthless site in the history of the interweb.

Re:fp (0, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393727)

..and Republicans.

I've heard there's been a lot of discussion of "conservative teabag parties" over twitter lately, so maybe there are substantial portions of those two communities that overlap. I had always suspected as much.

140 Characters? (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392821)

140 Characters? You can copyright 140 characters? Maybe. Can you copy this post?

Copyright © 2009 Morgan Greywolf. All rights reserved.

Re:140 Characters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392959)

In order for it to ever be an issue, you'd first have to write 140 characters that anybody would give enough of a shit about to copy. Good luck with that.

Re:140 Characters? (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393749)

So, does that mean that all the music that's being put out by the music industry that nobody gives a shit about is not covered by copyright?

Re:140 Characters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27394051)

I've created you a handy, 2-step guide to responding to posts on Slashdot.

Step 1: Learn reading comprehension.

Step 2: Respond to the actual point made.

Please remember these two easy steps before responding to a post. You'll sound much more intelligent if you do.

Re:140 Characters? (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392995)

There are some things that can't be copyrighted.
For everything else, there's Lawyers.

(Accepted wherever greed is good)

Re:140 Characters? (2, Informative)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393039)

I already have copyright on all possible combinations of 140 characters. You will soon be able to buy an anthology of Znork's collected works on Amazon. It'll be a few trucks and in really fine print, but for the true connaisseur it's definitely worth it.

Re:140 Characters? (2, Informative)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393327)

Well, given an alphabet of just 'a-z' + ' ', that would be 26 ^ 140 or:

1, 248, 155, 560, 712, 888, 693, 721, 116, 035, 178, 646, 463, 649, 590, 092, 724, 076, 699, 557, 919, 198, 775, 318, 840, 655, 335, 967, 337, 203, 969, 601, 545, 498, 350, 937, 608, 330, 255, 529, 112, 180, 176, 094, 892, 997, 792, 623, 787, 890, 917, 357, 870, 916, 489, 701, 094, 150, 005, 153, 729, 071, 148, 146, 282, 725, 376

which is quite a few possibilities.

Re:140 Characters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393535)

[a-z] has 26 elements. ' ' is one more so the answer should be 27^140 or 245995397838803976948892633400797134440833737402360802732640796057844\
198621986855674970789631998506536808954741967580052770741590244995771\
757729218506901127909617543714396694702285751406521313448072401

If you add uppercase letters too then there are
250392746641602745629602131346355410189816454567787392001337133991139\
926226578708062795168143269850549162835948477795946004993393039388861\
534958478767588844724603027184503496730526197890172590505617841866688\
70073014109725903527342937501094801 messages.

Adding [.,?!], which seems fair, there would be
664476756947807176715034333311766515110070489754984251115127044065335\
958723421280563932610202817364857562965301326676439580847882136233622\
470228337349221780394017946865300500917686923368657379455054140638838\
860621536007842505308434547056289460001 messages

Re:140 Characters? (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393621)

Strangely enough, out of all of those 664476756947807176715034333311766515110070489754984251115127044065335\
958723421280563932610202817364857562965301326676439580847882136233622\
470228337349221780394017946865300500917686923368657379455054140638838\
860621536007842505308434547056289460001 combinations, there are only about 23949324789628367456963242 that are actually worth copying, none of which have ever appeared on Twitter.

Re:140 Characters? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393903)

{Fermat}
One did. It was a beautiful tweet. But I'm too busy to look in my notes logs to find it.

{/Fermat}

Re:140 Characters? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393779)

No, you are assuming that ".,?!" are used in the beginning of words or anywhere besides the end of a sentence or phrase.

If you insist on adding those characters, you're going to need a slightly more complicated equation to determine how many "combinations" there are (at least combinations that make sense).

Oh wait...nevermind.

Re:140 Characters? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393943)

No, you are assuming that ".,?!" are used in the beginning of words or anywhere besides the end of a sentence or phrase. ...doesn't that mean that neither your sentence nor my response can actually exist?

Re:140 Characters? (2, Funny)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393665)

of course you need to eliminate all those that don't form words in some language. Those that make no sense. and only keep those that clearly no human has ever spoken before in the last 3000 years and billions of people talking for hours every day.

That should get it down to roughly 167.

"Hey I'm going to light my penis on fire with a blowtorch" I betcha nobody ever said that... opps 166.

Re:140 Characters? (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394309)

of course you need to eliminate all those that don't form words in some language.

Why? You can copyright what you want [google.com] !

Re:140 Characters? (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393675)

"Znork's third edition, now with only 16 trillion characters per page!"

(It would still require ~1^187 pages...)

Re:140 Characters? (4, Funny)

Faylone (880739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393687)

So, everything on one page?

Re:140 Characters? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393719)

Yeah, yeah, yuck it up. In my defense, I noticed it at approximately the same time as you.

Re:140 Characters? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393697)

10^187 pages.

Oops.

Re:140 Characters? (0, Redundant)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393701)

You've forgotten, Twitter is UTF-8 compatible, meaning it handles over 2,000,000,000 possible glyphs. To take that to the 140th power, you might need a bigger calculator.

Re:140 Characters? (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394363)

Is that a registered copyright for each one? According to the U.S. Copyright Office, an "Online registration of a basic claim in an original work of authorship" costs $35. So let's pull out the old adding machine and multiply 35 by 128^140, and...

Oh my.

This is absurd. (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393115)

140 Characters? You can copyright 140 characters?

Apparently. And things like C&D letters, and ... Whatever happened to the purpose of copyright being promotion of science and the useful arts?

These things are created for a specific purpose, which does not require them to be sold, and they would exist regardless of being copyrightable. So WTF is the point of them being copyrightable?

Re:This is absurd. (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393863)

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.

Re:140 Characters? (4, Interesting)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393233)

Here is an "anthology" of six-word-long short stories; maybe you'd agree that at least a few of them are art?

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html [wired.com]

(Of course, there might be a problem with "derived works" here - Alan Moore and Darren Aronofsky independently wrote basically the same thing.)

Re:140 Characters? (1)

carambola5 (456983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394113)

How about a similar venture already on Twitter [twitter.com] inspired by that very Wired article? Stories in exactly 126 characters.

Re:140 Characters? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393419)

I take it you missed this at the bottom of the page:

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest © 1997-2009 SourceForge, Inc.

You own the copyright on all of your posts.

Re:140 Characters? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393475)

140 Characters? You can copyright 140 characters?

Dibs on the first 140 characters of all amino acid sequences of every human gene!

Re:140 Characters? (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393481)

140 Characters? You can copyright 140 characters? Maybe. Can you copy this post?

Copyright © 2009 Morgan Greywolf. All rights reserved.

Re:140 Characters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393659)

Ask Ashleigh Brilliant - he writes epigrams, some of which you have seen on T-shirts.

"I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent." was copied without authorization.

He sued, and won.

isn't anything created... (4, Informative)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392827)

...automatically assumed to have copyright attributed to the author?

I had no idea Twitter had some mystical "copyright-defeating aura" about its service.

Twitter? Mystical? Hardly. (4, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392963)

...automatically assumed to have copyright attributed to the author?

I had no idea Twitter had some mystical "copyright-defeating aura" about its service.

The only thing about Twitter that is "mystical" is its ability to stay popular and relevant well past its 15-minute window...

Re:Twitter? Mystical? Hardly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27394071)

Oh snap.

Re:isn't anything created... (2, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393035)

Works must meet some level of "creativity" before they can be copyrighted. Many Slashdot posts would qualify as such, as people stop and take a second to put thought into them (sometimes.) Twitter encourages lots of little posts that are more like wafts of thought, things you'd say to someone. The exception here is that it's printed text and that "someone" is an audience of a bunch of people.

I'd wager that most twitter posts probably (frequently) fall below the line of value in terms of being copyrightable. But if it's a paragraph in length or longer then it's probably a given that it is, however few people will ever go through the effort of actually -securing- the copyright (printing it out, filling out the paperwork, and filing it.) It generally isn't worth it. If anything, I suppose that stuff you publish on boards that isn't explicitly copyrighted beforehand (you tag everything with a copyright notice and archive it with a date and time) falls into that weak unregistered copyright realm that is harder to defend.

tl;dr: It probably is copyrighted, but good luck defending it unless you have it printed, dated, and stuffed in a sealed envelope. IANACL.

Re:Below the line (2, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394149)

Nope. Quit that wager before you lose your shirt.

Tweet posts are copyrightable works as long as trivial outliers are avoided. Ignoring issues like TOS grabs, the lower bound is much shorter, perhaps down in the 1 word range.

You can fit two haikus per tweet - no one's going to deny the creativity there!

Just because most people burn their characters on facile content doesn't automatically strip away the copyrightability.

What's happening is that it's hard to find a Fair Use fragment since the whole is so short.

It's a *lot* more complicated than that (4, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393043)

You can't copyright facts, for example. If you get up on a soapbox on Main St. and yell that the Mayor is a space alien, the local paper can report that you did so without any invocation of copyright. They can quote parts of your screed under fair use. TFA discusses this part, if you'd read it.

Re:It's a *lot* more complicated than that (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393529)

The local paper can report that you did so without any invocation of copyright.

That's different. You are talking about the fact that you spoke, not the content of the speech.

They can quote parts of your screed under fair use.

Yes, because your "screed" is probably a copyrighted work.

Re:isn't anything created... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393055)

I'm not an expert on copyright law (possibly I'm the only Slashdot user who doesn't consider himself a universal legal expert) but it's my understanding that brief utterances are not copyrightable. Recall that tweets are a maximum of 140 characters. For example:

I'm not an expert on copyright law (possibly I'm the only Slashdot user who doesn't consider himself a universal legal expert) but it's my

Re:isn't anything created... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393747)

I'm pretty sure it ends up being situational (so in some cases, 1000 characters would not be copyrightable, but in others 30 might).

Re:isn't anything created... (1)

vonart (1033056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393869)

As tree falls in woods,
copyright works on awful
haiku poems, no?

(65 characters, counting spaces & punctuation 137 counting this line).

Re:isn't anything created... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394199)

Poetry is the easiest bust of your pure character count.

See my longer note above.

Re:isn't anything created... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393125)

There's a certain level of creativity and uniqueness needed for something to be considered a 'work' too; a single sentence or two are not automatically copyrighted with any certainty or you could be sued for writing just about anything. I haven't seen any fixed length anywhere, but you can probably expect anything that could ever be uttered during a reasonably normal conversation to be unprotected by itself (compare poems that may qualify under creativity or uniqueness, etc).

Re:creativity (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394235)

Ad slogans are encroaching on this end. They take ordinary usages out of parlance with a slight twist to tie in with a product brand.

Re:isn't anything created... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393847)

isn't anything created automatically assumed to have copyright attributed to the author?

Close. It's that anything creatIVE is automatically copyrighted upon creation.

If you can tweet a poem that fits into 140 characters -- and I defy you to write a haiku that does not -- then it is protected by copyright. Absence of any context indicating otherwise, tweeting your friends that you "ordered a hamburger minus tomatoes, who even likes those" is not a creative work and thus not copyrightable.

yes.... (2, Informative)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392833)

as soon as you create something, it is protected by copyright.... as long as you're in the US (YMMV in other countries)

and yes, ESPN can quote.... as long as its newsworthy.... news is covered by fair use...

plus, ESPN is owned by Disney.....
they can get away with anything....

Re:yes.... (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392863)

Quotes in general are covered by fair use regardless of their newsworthyness. The problem with twitter is that the quote is likely to be the entire post since it's soo small.

Re:yes.... (2, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393087)

That makes it interesting for copyright law. It's my understanding that if you quote an insignificant piece, that's simply a quote. If you quote the whole work, then it's infringement.

    Like, it's generally (but not always) ok to quote say one line from an article in a magazine. But if you copy the entire article that's a little fuzzier. If you copy the entire publication, you're just not going to win no matter how it's argued.

    So, to quote an insignificant but complete phrase from a twitter is almost always going to be the whole thing.

    The 1886 Berne Convention states that the © mark (the circle around a c) indicates that the document is copyrighted by declaration. The Buenos Aires Convention of 1910 established that some sort of copyright warning was required, such as the simple statement on the publication "all rights reserved". To the best of my knowledge, both currently apply inside the United States.

    By quoting a copyrighted work, you'd better be clearly inside the lines of "fair use". Of course, fair use is not clearly defined, so it can be fought by both sides, and the bigger meaner (and usually richer) side will win. The considerations for fair use are:

      1. the purpose and character of the use;
      2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
      3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
      4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    By quoting a few lines from a New York Times article in a high school student essay, they're likely going to be ok. It's frequently looked at as the impact on the original publication. A blogger with 4 daily readers probably won't get a C&D by the NYT either, even if they publish the whole article. A blogger with 400,000 daily readers, who reguarly reposts NYT material may have an economic impact on the NYT, and therefor be in a bit of trouble. The C&D will generally say "cut it out, or we'll play rough."

    So, if some twit you wrote (err, twitter twittlie doo, whatever) got quoted by ESPN.com, either you can be happy that someone actually looked (because the rest of us don't care), or you can call your lawyer and have a C&D sent over. They'll retract that part of the story, and never quote you again. Or they won't really care, and you can take them to court for your (oh my gosh) serious economic losses and personal suffering.

    Really though, if you didn't want it quoted, you shouldn't have posted it for the world to read.

    © (c) 2009, JWSmythe
    All Rights Reserved
    For Republishing Information, Please Reference http://jwsmythe.com [jwsmythe.com]
    IMHO, YMMV, RTFM MF. :)

Re:yes.... (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393735)

Or you can take a page from the RIAA and sue ESPN for statutory damages. Commercial use... yep, ESPN's stories are definitely commercial, they make money from publishing them. Willful... yep, ESPN knows (being in the publishing business) that written works are automatically copyrighted and that they can't reproduce them outside of fair use without the copyright owner's permission. Quoting the entirety of a work for commercial gain doesn't sound much like fair use. Statutory damages run up to $150,000 per work.

Re:Bang! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394297)

+7 Insightful.

We spent our time moaning over the RIAA's effects on copyright in the music context, but the damage they caused spills over to all copyright situations, including this one.

"Little people" like to be known, but Big Corps in a bad mood wouldn't like rampant copying.

Re:yes.... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394021)

IANAL, but you don't need a © to mark something as copyrighted, at least in the U.S. Things are automatically copyrighted unless you explicitly release them into the public domain, or they are ineligible for copyright (e.g. a random string of numbers and letters like 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0) (IANAL, not sure about the 09 F9 thing, you might get sued if you assume I'm right).

Re:yes.... (2, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393285)

as long as you're in the US (YMMV in other countries)

Signatories of the Berne Convention are not allowed to impose formalities for the granting of copyright. Meaning in Berne Convention countries (the vast majority of the world), you don't need a registration to have a copyright.

You may need a registration for other purposes; e.g., in the U.S., you have to register your copyright before bringing a suit for infringement.

wtf is twitter? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392841)

What the Fuck is Twitter and can I use it on my 9 year-old Nokia 6210 phone?

Who really cares? (0, Redundant)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392871)

You have to be an idiot to use twitter anyway. Who cares if you are on the toilet?

Re:Who really cares? (1)

Panzor (1372841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393011)

I agree, but have you ever stumbled flicker? There are some really awesome photographs and image manipulation.

Re:Who really cares? (3, Funny)

$1uck (710826) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393013)

Seriously... you're an idiot if you are going to twitter about taking a shit or a piss. If you're going to twitter something meaningful, like hey I'm on the subway and its being delayed b/c some jackass jumped off the platform and I'm going to be late to (wherever). Then supposing you're friends are following you they will know... where you are and why you're late.

Twittering is no more idiotic than instant messaging. Its like an email list for instant messaging. It has qualities a chat room lacks like a degree of permanence.

But hey lets make another joke about twittering your bathroom habits and maybe you'll get modded +5 funny and not just redundant.

Re:Who really cares? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393357)

I'm taking a huge green dump and I'll be late to the Meadows. Don't go in the bathroom in the Reddington station for awhile, it smells like a cow died in here.

Re:Who really cares? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Who really cares? (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393987)

Some folks do write the good stuff, even under 140 chars. *You* need to find a better class of twitter-folk.

It doesn't sound like anyone's going to write to win *your* favor, either way. Quit'cher bitchin'.

GMAFB! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392879)

Give Me A Fracking Break!

Yet another nauseating story about wretched Twitter and the banal ideas around it that will "change everything".

Bletch!

Why? (2, Funny)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392905)

Why are we all a twitter over something that was twittered when it should have been tweeted. Or are we tweeting over something that was twittered by using a twitter that refused to tweet?

Tweet tweet?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393273)

I think the word you're looking for is "twatted"

Re:Tweety! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394347)

I TAHT I taw a putty tat!

Copyrightable expression (1, Informative)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392947)

Its not long enough, the snippets would have to be sufficiently expressive to be copyrightable. Like an entire haiku might be copyrightable, but a sentence, idea, thought, or word is not. Otherwise you have copyright law protecting slogans and phrases (the work of trademark law).

The copyrightable expression circulation (circ 34) is currently down, but its normally found here: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ34.html [copyright.gov]

Re:Copyrightable expression (3, Informative)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393031)

from the cache page. [74.125.93.104]

Names, titles, and short phrases or expressions are not subject to copyright protection. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or if it lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:

* Names of products or services
* Names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the name of a group of performers)
* Names of pseudonyms of individuals (including pen name or stage name)
* Titles of works
* Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions
* Mere listings of ingredients, as in recipes, labels, or formulas. When a recipe or formula is accompanied by explanation or directions, the text directions may be copyrightable, but the recipe or formula itself remains uncopyrightable.

Careful - A Cautionary Haiku (4, Informative)

detachable_halo (1519547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393369)

Just a simple proof:
Character count is less than
One hundred forty

Copyright © 2009 detachable_halo.

Re:Copyrightable expression (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393379)

You could fit a haiku into less than 140 characters. In fact, many haikus are shorter than sentences.

Re:Copyrightable expression (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393653)

Correct, so if you type everything as haiku, the twitter post would be copyrightable, but if you got rid of the line breaks, it wouldn't. That's why I mentioned it. For instance, this common twitter type post would be copyrightable

Going to pee now,
I Drank too much beer just now,
I will Poop also.

But in the dichotomy, this isn't:
Going to pee now, I drank too much beer just now, I will poop also.

Re:Copyrightable expression (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393765)

Nah. Things don't have to conform to a standard kind of poetry or literature to be copyrightable.

While line breaks are important for a haiku, they are not going to be the threshold for whether a given sentence is considered "creative."

On that note, I wonder what's the length of the shortest portion of text that has been sued over (and not thrown out)...

Re:Copyrightable expression (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393891)

from the copyright office's circulation 34.

"Names, titles, and short phrases or expressions are not subject to copyright protection. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or if it lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright."

Re:Copyrightable expression (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394007)

They are?

Re:Copyrightable expression (1)

carambola5 (456983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393469)

What about entire stories [twitter.com] ?

hey i have an idea: (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392955)

who fucking cares

you can own all the bits you want. just keep them on a cd in a safe in your office. but when you put something on the web, whether music, software, writing, whatever: you don't own it anymore. no one does

how's that for a coherent legal argument?

yeah, i know, intellectual property blah blah blah

how about:
1. anywhere besides the west, no one fucking cares
2. anyone below a certain age, no one fucking cares

intellectual property law is not going to evolve. it's going to be the vicitm of revolution. no storming of the bastille or anything like that. just an incredibly rapid obsolescence. intellectual property law is not morality, despite some of the rhetoric and tone you see and hear. intellectual property is a gentleman's agreement forged in oak paneled rooms smelling of cigar smoke when publishers were few and rich. now every pimply faced teenager with a dwl conneciton is a publisher. the gentleman's agreement is null and void

there's just no benefit to ip law anymore. no benefit at all. all it does is protect entrenched interest. it doesn't protect creators. it doesn't do anything except create artifical roadblacks to progress

ip law is simply archaic and defunct in the internet age

ip law is damge, to route around. its bogus. its history. all of it. the whole rotten bullshit load of it

just ignore ip law. as if it can be enforced anymore

Re:hey i have an idea: (0, Flamebait)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393165)

every pimply faced teenager with a dwl conneciton is a publisher

DWL? Digital Weiner Line? Digital Wanker Line? Is that the connection for people who piss you off?

Re:hey i have an idea: (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393193)

I can't believe that for once I agree with a post from cts =P

Re:hey i have an idea: (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393343)

how's that for a coherent legal argument?

Not very? I see a lot of passionate rhetoric, and very little legal reasoning to back it all up.

I'm guessing a judge wouldn't really be swayed by it either, since you don't offer much in the way of reasoning, legal precedent, or rational basis for your argument.

While most of Slashdot may hold these "truths" to be self-evident, they're not quite so self-evident to the congressmen and -women making the laws, nor are they generally to the judges & lawyers arguing the cases.

in short - less qq, more reasoning. IP law r srs bsns.

Re:hey i have an idea: (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393499)

While most of Slashdot may hold these "truths" to be self-evident, they're not quite so self-evident to the industry lobbyists making the laws

There, fixed that for you.

Re:hey i have an idea: (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393861)

  1. Industry lobbyists don't make the laws. Members of the legislative branch of the government do. If you don't like the influence that industry lobbyists have on the laws that are being passed, vote for better legislative representatives, and hold your representatives accountable.
  2. Don't get all butt-hurt because I pointed out that the original post I responded to contained nothing even remotely resembling a legal argument. The commentary made by circletimesquare above is no more relevant as a legal argument than the legendary "X has cooties!" argument used on elementary school playgrounds around the world.

But by all means, continue to miss the point and "fix" my statements with snarky, irrelevant bold text.

Re:hey i have an idea: (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394379)

Oh, come on, have a sense of humor :-)

I'm not hurt you that you bashed circletimessquare. I find myself constantly considering whether to foe him, in fact, but then I decide that I just don't care enough.

Believe me, I know that /.ers hold a lot of nonsense as common sense, esp. when it comes to stuff like IP.

Copyright speech next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392987)

This really have to stop. Give us at least some kind of freedom without having to pay for everything.

OH MY GOD (0, Troll)

Dreen (1349993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392989)

This is past INSANITY, my eyes BLEED with LAVA when I hear of people COPYRIGHTING twitter posts

I make it three issues (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393045)

iii. does anyone actually care?

Twitter is for losers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393079)

Friends don't let friends twitter!

this message brought to you by a geek who refuses to tweet, twit, or twat.

Just use every fourth word (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393153)

Fair Use

Re:Just use every fourth word (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393595)

Just to make sure I got this right, I am going to apply fair use of your statement.

""

Re:Just use every fourth word (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393623)

word

No, just no (1)

MrBasil (1265394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393157)

Fuck you copyright abusers.
I realize that this is just inquiring what would happen if a legal issue would occur, but we all know that eventually some dumbass will sue a twitter for copyright infridgment.

A simple idea to make copyrights obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393187)

A simple perl script that generates webpages by systematically combining characters that links to each further iteration and places a copyright in the footer.

ie:
a-ab-aaa
    ac aab
    ad aac
    . .
    . .

Our only limitation would be the ability of google to spider all our pages. We then release all pages into the public domain next to our copyright footer. Anytime someone asserts a copyright, we simply feed the selcted text into our perl script to show it has already been released into the public domain.

More importantly ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393305)

Who cares ?

Twitter can solve it for us (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393391)

In the TOS instead of saying the author keeps the copyright and that they suggest they submit it to the public domain, Twitter can just take it upon itself to do so. If anybody will get upset with that... well, thats kinda ridiculous.

What is copyright? (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393413)

All creative pieces of work you create are copyrighted. Just to put it clearly. The author alludes to it, but decided people already knew. Some people's comments indicate they didn't understand this so I wanted to clear it up. Which puts up a good point. Topics like these really show how little copyright laws have stayed with the times. The ease of reproducibility makes it near impossible for copyright to make sense anymore. The laws were not intended for the technology we posses and need to be revamped.

Re:What is copyright? (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394337)

but of course the key is it needs to be creative. if i say "I bought an apple computer"... well i'm clearly not the first person to ever say this...but clearly it was not said before 1976 so copyright would still apply... did I just violate a copyright???

problem is copyrights are analog laws in a digital world.

140 Characters? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393423)

I don't even need an infinite number of monkeys to accomplish that! Given a large but still finite number of monkeys it wouldn't take long to cover a substantial portion of the problem domain. For my first test we will be using 32768 monkeys. What's that? I'm being told that Congress has legislation pending to ban the sale of primates across state lines! DAMN YOU CONGRESS!

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!

Re:140 Characters? (2, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393565)

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:140 Characters? (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394239)

Ok average word length of 5.1 plus 1 for a space. 140/6.1 = 23 words. So where looking at combinations of 23 words that form a sentence or at least a coherent thought.

99.99% NO (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393587)

but hey if you think you can come up with something original , creative, non-obvious and non-derivative in 140 characters, more power to you.

Haha (0, Offtopic)

boxxa (925862) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393685)

I just copyrighted a fart.

in reference to the article (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393783)

no one can sue Cortney Love for Libel. Because no matter what she says its still coming from Cortney Love and lets face it if your reputation can be damaged by what she says you don't have a reputation.

this sort of reminds me of the stupidity of suing an anonymous poster on a web site. Until you sue them its just some meaningless rant from an idiot on the internet and is pretty much ignored. But once you file a lawsuit you add validity and public attention to there statement. In reality you cause the damage to your reputation by suing.

Please for the love of god (2)

biscon (942763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27394049)

Why are we even discussing this? no of course you can't copyright 140 characters in a specific sequence and of course I can write the same line everywhere I please, without giving a crap about what the original author thinks or having to pay him. Why you ask? because its frakkin' common sense. Slashdotters usually agree on not wanting to end up living in a police state, brought forth by the endless new IP legislation. By discussing and thus taken seriously that 140 chars, what amounts to a sentence, you're not doing yourself or the rest of us a favour. Its ridiculous and the courts should dismiss such claims outright.
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