Rebel With A Twitter Cause: CMG Sues Twitter For Ownership Of @JamesDean Account

James Dean Last Friday, The Hollywood Reporter disclosed a lawsuit filed by CMG Worldwide against Twitter. CMG, a firm that manages the commercial real estate of deceased celebrities, is suing the social media site along with five John Does, whose identifications are protected by Twitter, for unauthorized use of James Dean's name and image. Representing the James Dean estate, CMG's lawsuit is an an attempt to close the @JamesDean Twitter account which is managed by one of the John Does listed in the case. When asked about the lawsuit, CMG's CEO Mark Roesler claimed it is about ownership, and the [...]

Twitter’s Latest Transparency Report Details Increases In DMCA, Removal & Information Requests

Twitter Logo Twitter's latest transparency report shows that the company is seeing double-digit increases in data-related requests so far this year from governments and other rights holders. Twitter breaks down the requests it gets into three types: information, removal and copyright notices. All three are up significantly so far in 2013 compared to the same time period a year ago. Information Requests: Twitter has received 1,157 of these so far this year, a 36 percent increase compared to the first half of 2012. Removal Requests: These went from just six last year to 60 so far in 2013, a 1,000% i [...]

Twitter Loses French Appeal To Avoid Disclosing Hate-Speaker Names

Twitter Logo Twitter has lost an appeal in France to avoid disclosing the identities of people behind anti-Semitic hashtags that appeared and trended last year. Among them were #unjuifmort, which translates "a dead Jew," and “unbonjuif" ("a good Jew"), which became a source of jokes about The Holocaust and killing Jews. Anti-Semitism is currently on the rise throughout Europe. The Union of Jewish French Students (UEJF) and other human-rights groups sought disclosure of the identities of those behind the hashtags. Twitter refused, though it removed some of the more outrageous content. In January, [...]

UK Court Finds Tweet Libelous Because Of Implied Meaning

twitter-legal-law Could a tweet that doesn't say anything overtly defamatory get you sued for libel in the UK? The answer is yes. In what appears to be the first case of its kind, a UK court has found that the implications of a tweet (against the backdrop of its larger context) could be the basis for a finding of libel and damages against a defendant. Here's the tweet in question: "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*" There's nothing overtly libelous about this. Rather, the implications behind the tweet were found to be defamatory. Now, the factual background: A November 2012 BBC report abou [...]

Twitter Reaches Spam Lawsuit Settlement With Tweet Adder

twitter-legal-law Twitter has settled its lawsuit against Tweet Adder, one of five companies that Twitter sued last year, accusing them of making tools that spread spam across its service. As AllThingsD first reported, the settlement places strict rules on what Tweet Adder is allowed to do with its current software -- primarily, it has to play by all of Twitter's rules. From the settlement document: "Defendants ... are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly ... creating, developing, manufacturing, adapting, modifying, making available, trafficking in, using, disclosing, selling, licensing, distrib [...]

Twitter Sued By User Who Wants @SunValley Back, Claims Twitter Acted Like Bully

twitter-legal-law Did Twitter unfairly take away Leonard Barshack's handle and give it to Central Idaho ski resort Sun Valley Co.? After using the Twitter handle @sunvalley since 2010, Barshack received an email from Twitter last year notifying him that a report had been filed declaring he was engaging in "non-parody impersonation" with his Twitter handle. The Associated Press reports Twitter claimed Barshack was violating their policy that mandates an account's profile information "make it clear that the creator of the account is not actually the same person or entity," as the subject of the impersonation. [...]

Twitter Gets Best “Privacy Score” In Useful But Flawed EFF Analysis

Digital privacy is a complex issue, little understood by the public. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), as part of its ongoing mission to educate the public, has released its third annual "Who's Got Your Back" privacy scorecard for Internet companies. Below is the 2013 scorecard. Compared with the previous two years (below), results appear to be improving overall. Twitter and ISP are the big winners with perfect scores. Dropbox, Google and LinkedIn also do well, while Apple, Amazon, AT&T, Verizon, MySpace (does it still exist?) and Yahoo essentially get failing grades [...]

Followgen Founder Tells Twitter They Should Shut Down His Biz

Twitter Bird Usually, stories around Twitter's API are those of companies begging for access that have been shut down. This weekend, the exact opposite occurred. This odd case featured Followgen founder Myles Recny who released a blog post this weekend telling Twitter that they should shut down his company. In the bold move, Recny posted 500 words on how he started Followgen, the success and his worry around the product, concluding that he should be shut down or given access to the Ads API. Unlike the traditional Ads model, Followgen harnesses "favorites" to draw attention and build a following. Thes [...]

Twitter Warns Reporters To Be “Extra Vigilant” After @AP Account Compromised

twitter-hacked-200px (screenshot via CNN) Twitter is warning media outlets to be "extra vigilant" in light of today's incident involving a fake tweet sent out by hackers that had gained access to the Associated Press' Twitter account, @AP. It's also good advice for brands and marketers -- and for all Twitter users, actually. Shortly after 1:00 pm EST today, the AP's account sent out a (fake) tweet saying that President Obama was injured after "two explosions in the White House." The Dow Jones stock market index momentarily tanked almost 150 points. The AP disabled its Twitter accounts, at least temporari [...]

A 15-Second Peek Into Twitter’s Future With Video “Instant Replays”

twitter-video-tv-featured This week, Twitter introduced video "instant replay" for March Madness. By following the NCAA's @marchmadness account you can catch highlights from all of the college basketball games within a few minutes of them being broadcast. This is, of course, great for fans who can't watch or miss games featuring their favorite teams. However, it's much more significant in terms of Twitter's future and the future of video and video advertising on the site. The clips are a result of a partnership between Turner Broadcasting, Twitter and SnappyTV, which is providing the technology behind the 15-seco [...]

Amid Recent High-End Hacks Twitter Beefs Up Security With DMARC Technology

Twitter logo If you manage a Twitter account, you likely know the endless phishing attacks that come with the territory. Twitter has long been the target of various scammers who do their darnedest to make their email appear to be official Twitter messages. Well earlier this month Twitter began using a new technology, DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance,) to combat phishing attempts. Basically DMARC uses authentication for those emails that are trying to cloud the specific domain where they are being delivered from. Using established authentication protocols, those us [...]

Twitter Expands Bi-Annual Transparency Report With More US Info

Coinciding with Data Privacy Day, Twitter has produced its second Twitter Transparency Report, and this version has expanded information about the various legal requests that come from the U.S. Twitter is also giving the report a new home at The statistics in this report are fairly consistent with Twitter's first transparency report last summer. The U.S. is still the biggest source of government information requests with 81 percent of all requests in the second half of 2012. (That figure was 80 percent for the first half of the year.) Overall, requests in the se [...]

Judge: News Organizations Improperly Pulled Images From Twitter & Used Commercially

Twitter logo News organizations are about to get much more careful about trolling Twitter in search of breaking news photos. Manhattan based U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled that Twitter's terms of service did not give either The Washington Post or Agence France-Presse the right to publish photographer Daniel Morel's photos of a post-earthquake Haiti without his permission. This is an important step for those looking to keep their socially shared content from being used in commercial purposes. In this specific case Reuters reports that initially the AP found the image via Twitter which was then d [...] Being Used For Scams, Twitter Seeks To Gain Control Of Rogue Domain

computer-internet-legal-law-featured Too bad Twitter didn't originally register "" as well. It would have saved the company from the headache of trying to gain control of the domain, which is now being used to conduct scam surveys of people who unwittingly arrive thinking they're at The site is set up to intentionally create confusion and make it appear that the actual Twitter is conducting a survey and giving away prizes. The look and feel of the landing page replicates Twitter's earlier design and branding. first reported this story. Twitter has filed a complaint with the Wo [...]

Twitter Will Hide, Not Remove, Tweets That Violate Copyrights

twitter-legal-law Twitter is changing how it handles legal requests against individual tweets that violate copyright. Rather than remove the tweets altogether, Twitter will now hide the tweets and show a message alerting readers that the original tweet is being withheld. GigaOm first reported the news on Sunday, following a tweet from Jeremy Kessel, Twitter's manager of legal policy. Kessel linked to the new policy in Twitter's help center, which reads as follows: In an effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user-posted content, we clearly mark withhe [...]

Twitter Takes First Country-Specific Censorship Action, Against Hate Group In Germany

Twitter Logo Earlier this year, Twitter added the ability to block Twitter accounts and tweets by a country-by-country basis, in case it needed to respond to legal requests. Nine months later, the company has done this for the first time, for a hate group based in Germany. The Financial Times spotted the action and reported it in a blog post today. The story come out of information Twitter sent to Chilling Effects last month, part of Twitter's mechanism for being transparent about censorship requests. The Chilling Effects filing reveals that a Germany ministry (the Ministry of the Interior for Lower [...]

Why Adams & Not Others: Twitter’s Suspension Of Journalist’s Account In #NBCFail Flap Raises Questions

Guy Adams On CNN Yesterday, journalist Guy Adams, who writes for The Independent, found his Twitter account had been suspended. The reason? Twitter claimed he tweeted the email of an NBC executive in charge of that network's Olympics coverage in a way that violated Twitter's rules on privacy. But why suspend Adams and not so many others, including celebrities, who have done the same thing? Adams is back on Twitter now, saying that Twitter emailed him that NBC retracted its original complaint. This follows on news today that Twitter itself may have tipped NBC to the tweet and suggested a way that it co [...]

Twitter Transparency Report Uncovers Actions On Government & DMCA Requests

twitter-new-logo-blue With the Fourth of July just days away, Twitter released their first Twitter transparency report that uncovers the actions taken on  government requests and takedown notices.  This report will become a bi-annual report that should shed some light on user data. So far in the first half of 2012 there have been more government requests than in all of 2011.  The most requests came from the United States (679) followed by Japan (98).  None of the additional countries had more than 11 user information requests.  On average, some or all of the information was given in 63% of the requests: [...]

Inside Twitter’s Spam Lawsuit: Fighting Five Defendants Cost More Than $700,000

twitter-legal-law Twitter's costs in fighting the spam created by five defendants it's suing are more than $700,000 -- and that may be a conservative underestimate. The company is seeking full restitution of those costs and other damages, along with an injunction forcing each defendant to stop its activities, as it seeks a jury trial in a San Francisco federal court. We wrote yesterday about Twitter's lawsuit against the five alleged spammers and, now that the filing is available (PDF download), more details are known about Twitter's case. Two Types of Defendants The lawsuit separates the five defendan [...]

Twitter Takes Five Alleged Spammers To Federal Court

twitter-legal-law-featured Twitter filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco today against five "bad actors" that it says provide tools that are designed to spread spam across Twitter. The five defendants are a mix of companies and individuals: TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of and Garland Harris of In a blog post announcing the lawsuit, Twitter calls this group "five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers." With this suit, we're going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services [...]

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