Can Copyright protect a Tweet? Will It Need Citation?

July 18th, 2021

Reading time about 13 min

A Background to Tweet Citation

Roughly 500 million tweets are sent in a day. People often ask whether a tweet can be protected by Copyright alone or does it need tweet citation? Yes, Copyright does protect tweets and the expression of ideas. But, there are specific requirements. These include:

  • One should express the tweets in a particular form.
  • The tweets must be original and substantive to warrant the protection of Copyright.
Tweet Citation, Twitter Post

As stated, Copyright protects the expression of ideas. It means if a tweet depicts the view for a novel, it will get protection through Copyright. To put in simple words, every chapter of a book is unique and subject to copyright protection. However, one can use that idea to write another story, which will not be a Copyright infringement.

Copyright laws never protect facts, ideas, and slogans as Twitter has its limited word count. Often tweets have duplicate content, and they do not meet the criteria of original content. Therefore, the tweets are not subjected to copyright protection.

Subject Category of Tweets

For Copyright to protect tweets, they must meet the requirement of the Copyright Act. Tweets have various categories.

  1. Artistic works
  2. Literary works

Tweets of Creative Works Can Be Subdivided Into

  • Sculptures
  • Paintings
  • Prints
  • Drawings
  • Engravings
  • Buildings
  • Photographs
  • Models of buildings

Tweets Under the Literary Works Come Under the Following Domains

  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • Poems
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Newspaper articles
  • Lyrics
  • Computer programs
  • Databases

As per the expression of ideas, one cannot express any tweet views because Twitter follows a limited word count.

About Substantial Tweets

Tweets must be substantial for Copyright to protect them. For example, a slogan, name, or headline is not essential to have copyright protection.

Tweet Citation

Various trademarks are there to do the same. If people want to protect their brand through a slogan or pun, it must be protected through a trademark to safeguard it from their competitors.

About Original Tweets

So, as discussed above, a tweet must be original, and then only Copyright will protect it. Copyright laws promote the expression and creation of content with a purpose. It never protects mere information and facts.

Whenever someone tweets content, Twitter can distribute it. But, as an owner, the user has the moral and economic right of copyright protection. One needs to be the creator to enjoy copyright protection, and it will never be subject to violation.

Whoever wants to promote his brand through social media must protect his tweets.

Journal Article Citation

People often ask how to cite a journal article in APA format. Well, the database or URL should not be there in any citation. However, if a journal is not published, it must be cited as an ‘unpublished manuscript’. A journal article citation indicates an issue, volume, and name.

When an article is submitted for publication but waits for acceptance, it is cited as a ‘manuscript submitted for publication.

The third category is when an article is both submitted and accepted; it is cited as ‘in press.’

Whenever a journal has a particular issue and needs to be cited, then the title of the editor’s problem and name appear instead of the author’s article title and name.

PDF Citation

How to cite a pdf is another query of the users. There is no particular text citation through APA format. The users need to determine whether the PDF source- is taken from a book or any journal article. Then they must cite them by using the most original format. However, for a book citation, a DOI or URL is mandatory as books usually have a copyright page.

What is APA Format?

While talking about APA format, it is crucial to know about APA guidelines. APA stands for the American Psychological Association.

▪ Texts must have double space.

▪ Keeping a one-inch margin on both sides is mandatory

▪ One must indent Paragraphs.

▪ The title must be in the central position of the page.

▪ 12-point font should be there.

▪ Users should keep numbering the pages in the upper right of the corner.

▪ People must use space after a punctuation mark.

▪ The upper left-hand corner should include a short title.

Website Citation

Many users want to know how to cite a website. Generally, a website citation requires the website name, author’s name, publication date, page title, and URL. If the users want to cite in APA format, it must include the year of publication and the author’s surname. The norms for text citation are akin to a website citation. One can also cite the page numbers. Apart from all these rules, the entire text must be centered, and it must contain a complete reference list.

Users can use ‘&’ between names or put just one name and write ‘et al.’ to cite multiple authors.

Cite a Tweet It Aptly in APA Style!

In the current world, researchers and writers can gather information from anywhere, even from a Tweet. Hence, one should know to cite it appropriately. It helps them to avoid hassles that may crop up due to copyright issues. Therefore, are few ways to cite a Tweet in APA style:

  • Tweeting a Post:

If someone wants to cite a Twitter post, they have to provide the author’s name followed by their username in the bracket. Next comes the date when the post was live on Twitter. Finally, the original text in Italics should be there in the citation.

  • Citing a Profile:

The rules of citing a profile are a bit different from that of citing an individual post. Hereafter the author’s name, in place of the date, ‘n.d.’ as profiles tends to changes. In place of the date, the retrieval date should be there.

  • If There Is a Need to Cite Protected Tweets and DMs

Readers cannot accept personal tweets and DMs. However, if the writers feel to cite it, which is ethical too, they should do that through parenthesis in the main text. They have to mention personal communication. No need to refer to it in the reference list section. H2: Online Articles and Anti-plagiarism Tool

Why Use Copyleaks?

With the advent of technology, the demand for online text publication is on the rise. The hardcopy publication is time-consuming and more expensive. However, users must know the rules of citation if they want to publish a document online. The works must include acknowledgment, in-text citation, and reference to be accepted.

The students or researchers must make sure their journal article does not have any instances of plagiarism. They must pass their professional papers through an online plagiarism checker. For example, Copyleaks is a sophisticated plagiarism detector that helps people create unique content. Bloggers must check their blog posts for plagiarism to be authentic.

The academicians must teach their students how to write without copying.

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