Bank of America gets Twitter to delete journalist’s joke

New York, Dec 23 (IANS) Bank of America has asked social networking service Twitter to delete tweets of the founding editor of Business Insider’s British edition, Jim Edwards, accusing him of violating the bank’s copyright.

“In an e-mail, Bank of America told Edwards that his tweets violated the bank’s copyright and that if he kept it up, they’d see to it that his Twitter account was deleted,” news website reported on Tuesday.

In his tweets that raised the controversy, Edwards had quoted a research document produced by analysts.

“BAML’s Teo Lasarte is developing a pun-based method for analysing auto stocks,” one of his tweet read.

“BAML” acronym refers to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The tweet included a screenshot that has been deleted.

Edwards said “the tweets were ‘probably trivial’, but cannot really be more specific in part because the frequent Twitter user can’t even remember exactly what they were about.”

“I have no idea what Twitter agreed to censor for BAML, and no way of guessing what BAML’s objection was really about, or if it was even BAML who made the complaint,” Edwards added.

According to the report, the DMCA claim came from the “Attributor Corporation,” part of digital-rights company Digimarc, working on behalf of Bank of America.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a US copyright law that implements 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) — a special agreement that deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors in the digital environment.

Twitter did not comment on the matter referring to their copyright policy.

“Investment banks apparently have the power to censor journalists on Twitter, simply by asking. That is depressing,” Edwards wrote in a short post on Business Insider news website after the situation.

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