Vine is starting to get DMCA complaints … so maybe don’t upload that concert footage

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Three months in and Twitter already has a DMCA problem on its hands with new app, Vine. The looping video app that’s inspired much early praise and some impressive creative use is at the receiving end of a DMCA copyright complaint.

The party serving Twitter (through Vine) is Prince’s record label, NPG Records. The DMCA takedown letters, which are public information on Chilling Effects, were submitted by the record label on March 22, and eight copyrighted clips that were the Vines in question. When we checked out the links individually, we noticed that the URLs lead to dead links now, so they’ve already been taken down.

User video creation and copyrighted content is a tricky gray area to navigate thanks to apps like Viddy and Vine. Users are essentially manipulating an artist’s performance – and while the guitar player on the street corner might not care, the professional, represented performer with a legal team very well might. Twitter will likely allow users and rights holders to help it police Vine, as it has with Twitter. What this speaks more to than anything else is that those rights holders now have yet another social platform they need to keep an eye on when it comes to their creators’ content. The quick take off with Vine – and the celeb-mongering that’s happening there – might make it a common culprit. Not to mention it’s incredibly visual nature and video aspect; while audio isn’t a focus as much as the looped videos, users are in fact recording concert soundbites. 

It’s unknown whether the social network will or will not take an active part in the hunt for copyrighted content. Based on the letter sent by NPG, there’s an indication that copyright holders are expecting that Twitter will take an active participation in remove both copyright content and “all other occurrences on the platform.” However copyright holders might be disappointed if Twitter sticks to its current plan of action.

We’ve reached out to Twitter and will update this space with any response.


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