DMCA Subpoena to Unmask Twitter User Hits Fair Use & Constitutional Roadblock
A Twitter user who posted copyrighted photos for the purpose of criticizing a private-equity billionaire will retain their anonymity. The allegedly infringing material was taken down by Twitter but when a shadowy company tried to use the DMCA to unmask the user, Twitter mounted a legal challenge on their behalf. The court’s decision is important for both fair use and freedom of speech.
Around October 2020 a Twitter user called ‘MrMoneyBags‘ began posting critical messages targeting billionaires.
Brian Sheth, the former President of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity fund based in Austin, Texas, received special attention. MrMoneyBags posted six tweets accompanied by photos, with added commentary relating to Sheth’s wealth and his alleged lifestyle.
“Brian Sheth has upgraded in his personal life. The only thing better than having a wife … is having a hot young girlfriend,” said MrMoneyBags, referencing a photo of a woman in a bikini and high heels.
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