On October 12 Vox Media’s SBNation and Gawker Media’s Deadspin both had a pretty unpleasant surprise. They found their Twitter accounts suspended due to copyright infringement. It seems that Twitter decided to suspend the two accounts after receiving a number of complaints. These showed that the sports publications violated a series of copyright protections. The complaints came from several sports organizations, including the National Football League, the Big 12 and Southeastern collegiate sports conferences. Ultimate Fighting Championship also reported activities of the two sports publications that violated their copyrights.
Following the above mentioned complaints, on Monday the two Twitter accounts disappeared and were replaced by a notice saying that the accounts were suspended. Although @Deadspin became available the same day, the other Twitter account, @SBNationGIF, remained unavailable even the next day. The suspension was due to the fact that both sports publications often posted content that was protected by copyright laws. The majority of this protected content consisted in GIFs of NFL-owned materials.
Some of the sports organizations that complained about the copyright infringements stated that they didn’t request Twitter to suspend specific accounts. They formulated general take down notices regarding allegedly infringed material. The UFC on the other hand demanded in its complain that Twitter would “immediately disable access to the individual who has uploaded the copyright infringing content” to the website. They also requested twitter to terminate any and all accounts this individual has through Twitter. Even more, the UFC indicated a 10 minutes period of time for Twitter to accomplish the demanded actions. This complaint of the UFC was referring to the @Deadspin account.
By keeping the named Twitter account, the website would have been violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Deadspin stated that getting suspended from Twitter was ” the worst repression of free speech in the history of mankind.” Do you agree with them, or think that it was necessary for Twitter to suspend the accounts in order to protect copyright of the sports organisations mentioned?