Home / News / India /  Twitter says it informed Ravi Shankar Prasad before lockdown his account

Amid an ongoing tussle with the central government, Twitter said on Thursday that it had informed former IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad before blocking his account last month.

The micro-blogging site was responding to the Shashi Tharoor-led Parliamentary panel for Information Technology.

Twitter had on 25 June temporarily blocked Prasad's account under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and later restored it.

Following this, Shashi Tharoor, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT, had sought a written explanation from Twitter to know the grounds on which the micro-blogging site had locked the account.

"As per our copyright policy, Twitter responds to copyright complaints submitted under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA")," Twitter said in its written reply.

"In the case of Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology as well Dr Shashi Tharoor, Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, Twitter received DMCA notices from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) alleging that video Tweets posted on their accounts infringed copyrighted works owned by Sony Music Entertainment," it added.

Twitter went on to say cite the original work based on which the infringement notice was sent.

"For Prasad, the DMCA notice was in reference to the original work of A.R. Rahman's: Maa Tujhe Salaam and the reported tweet was (https://twitter.com/rsprasad/status/941874014024167424). For Dr, Tharoor, the DMCA notice was in reference to the original work of Boney M. -Rasputin and the reported Tweet was (https://twitter.com/ShashiTharoor/status/1380746375567003649," it said.

"Upon receipt of the notice, Twitter complied with its copyright policy, disabled access to the allegedly infringing videos, and temporarily locked the accounts. When the account holders acknowledged their understanding of our copyright policy, the accounts were immediately unlocked," it added.

The social networking platform said it sent by email a full copy of the DMCA notices to the account holders.

Further, the parliamentary panel asked Twitter to clarify what its standard operating procedure was for blocking Twitter accounts and whether standard operating protocols were followed in the instant case.

"Under appropriate circumstances, we may suspend user accounts under our repeat infringer policy. However, we may take retractions and counter-notices into account when applying our repeat infringer policy. We do not withhold content in response to DMCA takedown notices that are incomplete, do not concern copyright issues, or that we determine to be fraudulent," Twitter stated.

The site also listed out the details that are sent to a violator.

"When we remove or disable access to the materials reported in a copyright complaint, the reported user(s) will receive a copy of the complaint, including the reporter's full name, email, street address, and any other information included in the complaint. The user will also get the detailed information regarding filing a counter-notice," reported news agency ANI, quoting sources from the panel.

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