Rights holders want the online platform to license content. But Twitter uses the DMCA — and it wants to charge to expedite takedowns.
Over the past few years, as streaming runs out of room to grow, labels and publishers have been ramping up their efforts to license technology companies that use their content: Think Facebook, TikTok and now Twitch and Twitter.
These efforts often involve taking services that operate under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — the 1998 law that offers online platforms limited "safe harbor" for users' copyright infringement as long as they respond to takedown notices — and bringing them to the negotiating table with talk of business benefits, threats of legal action or some mix of the two. It's a game that's almost as old as online music itself.
But Twitter won't play, multiple sources close to the situation tell Billboard. So far, the company — which lets users post videos of up to two minutes and 20 seconds, and doesn't actively scan for infringing content — has been unwilling to negotiate to license music. And although Twitter operates under the DMCA, the company often takes "three to five days" to remove content after receiving a takedown notice, according to a rights-holder source. (The DMCA says sites must act "expeditiously.") In a December Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property hearing on how voluntary agreements can reduce piracy, RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier testified that when the music industry organization asked Twitter for access to its API (application programming interface) to more efficiently search for infringing content, the company replied that it would cost $100,000 a year.