[bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties

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[bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Hugo Roy 6/15/12 7:50 AM
To continue on the thread about copyright licenses
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/tosdr/kizrN7qb1Ck
(please answer to that post if you have further opinion about the
general topic)

Let's now focus on Twitter terms. https://twitter.com/tos

TL;DR:
     1. [mediocre] Ownership: The copyright license is very broad and
        goes beyond the requirements to run the service,
     2. [mediocre] Third-parties: Your data can be shared with Twitter's
        partners and other third-parties, on Twitter's terms – not
        yours.

The copyright license in Twitter terms is, as I wrote earlier, very
broad:
        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.]
       
That seems reasonable, but is it? The "Tip" is very optimistic. The
license isn't just about the rights "to display to the world" but is
indeed much larger.

I would say that the most worrying aspect of this license is that there
are absolutely no limitations to this license. By limitations, I mean
something like SeenThis (Twitter competitor) "autorisations permettant
le bon fonctionnement du système" or Dropbox's "These Terms do not grant
us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the
limited rights that are needed to run the Services". Dropbox also
documents in their privacy policy why exactly and with whom information
is shared.

Moreover if you look at how Twitter handled copyright prior to their
September 2009 changes, you get a very different picture. Here's what we
had before:
        Copyright (What’s Yours is Yours)
       
            We claim no intellectual property rights over the material
        you provide to the Twitter service. Your profile and materials
        uploaded remain yours. [...]
            We encourage users to contribute their creations to the
        public domain or consider progressive licensing terms.
       
I believe it's possible that this former policy may encounter problems.
However I am not convinced that the current solution is in the best
interest of the users. With such a broad scope in the copyright license,
Twitter effectively becomes owner of the data (tweet, meta information
in the tweet, pictures tweeted; etc.) and can transfer or sublicense to
third parties. As acknowledges the current TOS:
       
        You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to
        provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content
        submitted to or through the Services 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 ecosystem
        partners can interact with your Content. These rules exist to
        enable an open ecosystem with your rights in mind. But what’s
        yours is yours – you own your Content (and your photos are part
        of that Content).]

To me, what's in the best interest of the user is a copyright license
chosen by the user, like for instance CC-BY or CC-BY-SA or CC-BY-NC or
CC-BY-ND, whatever the _user_ chooses. At least in these case it is
clear for users how their content is licensed.
--
Hugo Roy
  French Coordinator, FSFE       chat: hu...@jabber.fsfe.org
  www.fsfe.org/about/roy         mobile: +336 08 74 13 41
                                 mobile DE: +49 151 143 56 563

Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Michiel de Jong 6/15/12 8:19 AM
What would happen if Twitter decide to sell the collected Direct
Messages between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? I'm sure they could
make some good book sales with that :)

and IIUC, they already have the license to publish all our DMs?

on https://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/109-tweets-messages/articles/14606-what-is-a-direct-message-dm
it says direct messages are "private messages", but what would a judge
say if twitter were to publish such a book?
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Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Hugo Roy 6/15/12 8:24 AM
Le vendredi 15 juin 2012 à 17:19 +0200, Michiel de Jong a écrit :
> What would happen if Twitter decide to sell the collected Direct
> Messages between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? I'm sure they could
> make some good book sales with that :)

This would contradict their Privacy Policy. So if they do it, they're
breaching their own terms and would cause quite huge damage.
Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Michiel de Jong 6/15/12 9:19 AM
right, direct messages would *probably* fall under "your private
personal information" as mentioned on https://twitter.com/privacy but
then why do they want to have a license on it? why ask for a license
on all the data you upload, shouldn't they instead only ask for a
license on all the data you make world-readable?
Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Hugo Roy 6/15/12 1:09 PM
Le vendredi 15 juin 2012 à 18:19 +0200, Michiel de Jong a écrit :
> right, direct messages would *probably* fall under "your private
> personal information" as mentioned on https://twitter.com/privacy but
> then why do they want to have a license on it? why ask for a license
> on all the data you upload, shouldn't they instead only ask for a
> license on all the data you make world-readable?

Twitter would still need a license to copy, distribute, display and
possibly others. But I agree that the current "one size fits all"
copyright license might just not be the best idea, especially without
limits like "for the purpose of operating the service as intended by the
user" etc.
Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties skept...@gmail.com 8/14/12 9:02 PM
what if i post some of my own music production?
Re: [tosdr:430] Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Hugo Roy 8/15/12 9:10 AM
Le mardi 14 août 2012 à 21:02 -0700, skept...@gmail.com a écrit :
> what if i post some of my own music production?

If you only link to it from your tweet, it doesn't apply. But if in the
future Twitter also hosts that kind of content (like they do with
pictures now) it will also apply (unless they changed the terms).
Re: [tosdr:430] Re: [bad] Twitter copyright license: very broad scope and 3rd parties Ian McGowan 6/24/13 10:51 AM
These points are clearly relevant and should be included on the website, definitely. I think Hugo's first post sums up everything nicely.