There’s an interesting situation in regard to Full Movies on Twitter being posted without repercussion. I can’t pass an opportunity to discuss any situation at Twitter but, in full honesty, I absolutely find this a fascinating from a legal perspective. It’s not just a matter of me piling on.
Twitter and other Social Media websites are generally immune to being sued for the content posted on their platforms under Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code. What I find interesting is the number of people who think this section makes Twitter immune to fines in this situation.
I’m a bit of a legal buff but not a lawyer. Therefore, if any actual lawyers out there wish to correct me, please have at it!
Is Posting Full Movies on Twitter Illegal?
Absolutely. Those movies are owned by entities with copyrights. Anyone who posts something like that on Twitter is subject to prosecution. This usually ends up with users banned from the social media platform rather than fines but repeated offenses will land the offender in the courts.
Is Twitter in Legal Trouble for what Others Post?
Reading the first few stories on this developing situation there are a number of people citing Section 230 as a reason Twitter and Elon Musk as the owner are under no legal peril. I disagree. Now, Twitter is absolutely not responsible for what other people post, that’s true.
The Motion Picture Industry and others actively monitor Twitter and other social media platforms for copyright violations. These entities and their agents then make copyright strikes against the person posting the movie, song, or other copyrighted media.
Once the automated system sees a copyright strike, the content is generally removed until a full review can be managed. There are problems with this system as well; people can and do use copyright strikes as weapons against social media users they dislike rather than as legitimate complaints. Let’s not get into that today.
The problem here is the copyright strike system seems to be broken. So, the industry is fulfilling their legal obligation but Twitter is failing to remove the movies after the strike. I think this is a serious violation and could end in enormous fines. Copyright infringement has stiff penalties pushed through the legal system by the entertainment industry. Stiff. Real stiff. Large fines for each violation. Every violation. Tens of thousands of them, potentially millions. As long as the copyright strike system remains broken more and more violations are piling up every minute.
Posting full movies on Twitter is a violation by the user and not Twitter under Section 230. Failing to promptly act on copyright strikes is outside the scope of Section 230. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Twitter shut down at least temporarily.
Naturally, I could be wrong and invite those with actual legal expertise to correct my mistakes.