Twitter joke thieves are getting DMCA takedowns


Among professional comedians, joke theft is no joke. Now Twitter is allowing members to use DMCA notices to take down tweets posted by accounts that copy and paste them without attribution. PlagiarismBad's name-and-shame campaign has already netted a few celebrities.


The most defiant celeb on the name-and-shame list has been Chris Brewington of the band Consider Me Dead. After a long weekend of getting harangued, he seems to be walking back some of his initial sentiments. He probably doesn't want to become the next Cooks Source, which went out of business after being total assholes about unattributed use of others' work.

It's an age-old debate about what's OK in the open architecture of the internet. But jokes are complicated. Everyone tells jokes they've heard, often without attribution. Two or more people can come up with the same joke without knowledge of each other. Amateur joke writers may have different feelings about their jokes than pros. And what about "parody" accounts, which use the borrowed interest of a real celebrity to make jokes and comments that appear at first glance to be attributed to that celebrity?

Bonus: Louis CK's wonderfully uncomfortable scene where he and Dane Cook hash out the joke-stealing allegations around Louie's bits like "Itchy Butthole."

Image: PlagiarismBad's current Twitter avatar