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Copyright takedowns on Twitter have more than doubled in the first part of 2019

Copyright takedowns are being used as a censorship tool.
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The US’s controversial 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is still going strong, to say the least: in the latest update to its Transparency Report, Twitter reveals that it received 106,951 DMCA takedown notices from January to June this year.

That’s more than double – 101 percent more, to be exact – compared to the previous six-month period.

Twitter acted on 45 percent of these notices, which is a decrease from 62 percent in the July-December 2018 period.

Twitter-owned Periscope saw 10 percent more copyright claims filed against content on its platform, totaling 26,331.

Many of the takedown notices that dramatically increased the overall number received by Twitter were fraudulent and came from Japan and Turkey.

DMCA notices are used by copyright holders to, justifiably or otherwise, demand from platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and others to remove content that is either pirated or infringes on copyright in another way.

It is then up to these platforms to decide how to proceed – and Twitter said that it removed 113,015 tweets on these grounds, from January to June. This represents an increase of 46 percent compared to the last six months of 2018.

At the same time, the latest report reveals that withheld media dropped by 4 percent, to 266,699 files.

However, Twitter users are fighting back – in the first six months of this year, they used the DMCA provision to counter the claims a total of 3,966 times – that’s an increase of 285 percent.

And who’s behind the surging number of takedown notices? More than a third came from only few reporters, with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, IFPI, topping the list that also includes Netresult, LeakID, Athletia Sports, and LaLiga.

Twitter also addresses the phenomenon of fraudulent takedown notices to promise to monitor the situation, and “put safeguards in place to help protect people on Twitter and Periscope.”

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