Twitter, Facebook earn high marks for copyright fight

Facebook, Twitter, Etsy and Flickr got relatively high marks from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for taking a stand against copyright and trademark “bullies.”

The four companies received four out of five stars in an EFF survey of companies’ responses to requests to take down copyrighted or trademarked information.

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The online activist group claims that abusive copyright claims can effectively muzzle speech on the Internet.

“As users choose which platforms will host their updates, writing, images, and videos, they ought to know which of these services have made explicit commitments to defend that speech against bullies that would try to take it down,” EFF said in the report.

WordPress and Namecheap, a domain name registration company, were the only two of the 13 surveyed companies to received the full five stars.

Tumblr received zero.

The companies were judged based on what they require of a copyright holder to take something down, their process for responding to that claim and whether or not they publish a transparency report.

“We were pleased to find that services have been largely receptive to our concerns, and in many cases were able to point to policies that met these criteria, or, where their ‘star-worthy’ internal practices were not reflected in their public policies, to revise their public-facing statements so that users would know about those practices,” EFF said.

By law, online companies are required to take down images, text and videos that violate someone’s copyright, so long as the person holding the copyright files a formal complaint. The provision protects the companies from liability, while also giving copyright holders a way to prevent others from profiting off of their work.