Payday loans company Wonga has asked for an image featuring one of its puppets to be removed from Twitter saying it was copyright infringement.
Twitter sent a take-down notice to @Brandy_Snap after Wonga took issue with a satirical image which depicted Earl, one of the puppets from its TV adverts, as part of a William Hogarth painting set in Fleet debtors' prison.
This is the Hogarth satire that WONGA had TWITTER take down. Under the pretext of copyright. This is only the start. http://t.co/YKnrMXCfbw
Twitter asked for the image, which also featured the company's logo, to be removed on the grounds that it breached copyright.
WONGA force TWITTER to takedown critical satire material of them. Pls look at timeline for the banned pastiche. http://t.co/mKqTzJX5Pf
Parody and satire accounts have been a long-standing part of the Twitter network and despite the take-down notice the image has now been circulated by more Twitter users.
Responding to media requests Wonga defended the notice, tweeting:
Proving breach of copyright on Twitter is a legal grey area due to the potential defence of fair use, which cites parody as an acceptable example in US law, where the social network is based.
UK copyright law is currently being updated to protect a right to parody, criticise and debate as more and more users take to Twitter.