Twitter Takes $250 Million Copyright Lawsuit From Music Publishers


Acting on behalf of 17 major music publishers, The National Music Publishers Assn. is filing a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against it. twitter for not licensing and paying for music widely available on its platform.

The complaint seeks more than $250 million in damages for the hundreds of thousands of violations identified in nearly 1,700 works.

In part, the complaint states, “Twitter empowers its business with numerous copies of musical compositions that infringe the exclusive rights of publishers and others under copyright law.” “While numerous Twitter competitors acknowledge the need for proper licenses and agreements for the use of musical compositions on their platforms, Twitter does not recognize this and instead feeds into massive copyright violations that harm music creators…

“Twitter is well aware that neither it nor the users of the Twitter platform are licensed for the widespread use of music made on its platform as complained here,” he continues. “Nevertheless, in connection with its highly interactive platform, Twitter constantly and knowingly hosts and publishes infringing copies of musical compositions, including those uploaded by Tennessee residents or broadcast live to them, and certain infringing material that Twitter knows is infringing. Twitter also routinely continues to provide those who repeat certain violations the use of the Twitter platform they used for further violations.Twitter profits generously from Broadcasters’ violation of their repertoire of musical compositions. …

“Twitter’s illegal behavior has done, and continues to do, significant and irreparable harm to Publishers, their songwriter clients, and the entire music ecosystem. Twitter’s illegal behavior enriches Twitter at the expense of Publishers and songwriters and to the detriment of copyrighted musical compositions. Twitter has rejected calls for it to obtain necessary licenses or other agreements for musical compositions to be used legally on its platform.”

An email requesting comment to Twitter’s press account returned an auto-reply with a poop emoji.

Claimants include: Concord, UMPG, peermusic, ABKCO Music, Anthem Entertainment, Big Machine Music, BMG Rights Management, Hipgnosis Songs Group, Kobalt Music Publishing America, Mayimba Music, Reservoir Media Management, Sony Music Publishing, Spirit Music Group, The Royalty Network, Ultra Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music and Wixen Music Publishing.

The NMPA has aggressively initiated or threatened similar legal action against companies in the past. TikTokTwitch, platoon, roblox and others that often result in an agreement or compromise in favor of publishers. Twitter has undergone numerous layoffs and policy changes since it was acquired by Elon Musk last year.

“Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service,” said NMPA President and CEO David Israelite. Twitter is well aware that music is leaked, released and listened to by billions of people on its platform every day. It can no longer hide behind the DMCA and refuse to pay songwriters and music publishers.

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