Twitter is beginning to monitor 'stolen' tweets by deleting posts that infringe on the copyright of others.
The crackdown started after a user on the social networking site complained about a plagiarised tweet.
Freelance writer Olga Lexwell had posted: "saw someone spill their high end juice cleanse all over the sidewalk and now I know god is on my side" when she saw other accounts re-post the joke without attribution.
Lexell contacted Twitter on the grounds that the reposting was damaging her intellectual property.
Later, users who posted Lexell's tweet without giving her credit saw the tweet replaced with a message saying, " This tweet from [username] has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder. "
The blocked tweets offer users the chance to “learn more” via a link to Twitter’s policy on DMCA takedown notices.
Lexell later posted a statement on the social networking site: "I simply explained to Twitter that as a freelance writer I make my living writing jokes (and I use some of my tweets to test out jokes in my other writing). "
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects tweets from copyright infringement, which allows the use of media such as gifs in posts.
Copyright infringement on Twitter includes the unauthorised use of a picture in a profile picture or header, illegally uploading a photo or video, or linking to websites with illegal content. It usually doesn't protect against the actual text of a tweet.