Starz reportedly apologizes for going after tweets about TV piracy

Writing about copyright infringement appears to have been confused with copyright infringement.

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Cable television network Starz has reportedly issued a mea culpa for going after several tweets related to news articles about TV show piracy.

Starz told Variety that a third-party company it uses to handle copyright enforcement had overstepped when it asked Twitter to remove several tweets that contained links to a story about pirated TV shows. The story, by TorrentFreak, reportedly didn't contain links or directions to the pirated content.

The TV network, which hired the third-party company after a security breach, is reviewing all of the affected tweets and working to reinstate ones that were "inappropriately targeted for removal," according to Variety.

"The techniques and technologies employed in these efforts are not always perfect, and as such it appears that in this case, some posts were inadvertently caught up in the sweep that may fall outside the DMCA guidelines," Starz said in a statement on Monday, according to Variety. "That was never our intention and we apologize to those who were incorrectly targeted."

The public apology comes after Twitter complied with a takedown request to remove a tweet by TorrentFreak, a site that covers news about copyright and file sharing, to an article it published last week about several popular TV episodes leaking online before their official release. Among the shows mentioned in the article was Starz's American Gods.

Things didn't stop there though. When some people and organizations came to TorrentFreak's defense on Twitter, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Columbia Journalism Review's Mathew Ingram, their tweets that linked to TorrentFreak's article were also removed. TorrentFreak said it counted more than two dozen takedown requests related to its article.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the company is looking into the issue.

Starz didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.