Many comedians who maintain a presence on Twitter often worry about having their material stolen and tweeted out by an impostor or spambot. Fortunately, Twitter is starting to tackle this issue by letting its users claim copyright infringement if they think their jokes have been stolen. Some tweets have already been deleted after such claims; those users have received DCMA notices after their tweets disappear. But this isn’t a foolproof operation. There are definitely some kinks that need to be worked out, including the fact that Twitter doesn’t question the claims of copyright infringement they receive — they simply delete the tweet without a second thought. Some are saying that such an untested process can lead down a slippery slope of copyright abuse.
Another flaw with Twitter’s new crackdown is that there’s no way to tell if material posted on Twitter for the first time is stolen; so far, this only applies to plagiarized tweets. But at least the microblogging site realizes this is an actual problem that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, these initial problems can be resolved.
In the meantime, if you like a joke, be a pal and retweet it.