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DISCUSS: Should Tweeters Be Compensated for Contributions to Books?

twitter book marketing

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s feature looks at some of the copyright and compensation issues surrounding the publication of the book Tweets from Tahrir, a collection of tweets that has been collated, edited and expected to be published shortly by OR Books in the United States.

The issue is complicated and has implications for how publishers will treat social media contributions that are incorporated into books in the future. In many ways, it is setting a precedent. Based on your reading of our story, do you think the tweeters should be compensated for their contributions in the book? What other issues do you anticipate OR Books and those who follow them will face in the future?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted March 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes. A penny a tweet.

  2. Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Four tweets per penny?

  3. Lars
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    A fair principle would be that if money is made based on a contribution you made – could be a tweet – you should have a fair share of the income. If 100 people contribute to the content of the book these 100 “authors” should share the royalty of the book.

  4. Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Copyright Law (in North America) states that when you put something into a “tangible form” that it automatically becomes copyright. Twitter is a “tangible form.”

    Twitter’s ToS states that the person who author’s the tweet retains copyright of the content, although you are granting Twitter “worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).” This license also extends to Twitter’s authorized “partners.”

    So technically the person who sends the tweet owns the tweet and you should not be making money using unauthorized content. Obviously it would be difficult to get permission from every person involved but if you wanted to be an “honourable” publisher, then you should at least make an attempt to gain permission to use the content.

    If you’re using someone else’s ideas and content to publish a book that you are making money for then you should offer them a free copy of that book in exchange, at the very least.

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