April 22, 2024

A group of 17 music publishers sued Twitter, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, on Wednesday, alleging copyright infringement on about 1,700 songs and seeking up to $250 million in damages. recent troubles.

The publisher filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Nashville, alleging Twitter violated copyright law by allowing users to post music to the platform without permission. Talks between Twitter and the music industry over a broad licensing deal fell apart a few months ago.

“Twitter, the largest social media platform, has flatly refused to license millions of songs for its service,” David Israelite, president of the National Association of Music Publishers, an industry group, said in a statement.

Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit details what the publisher says is Twitter’s failure to police rampant music copyright infringement on the service. It pointed to specific tweets that used music without permission, including a post about Rihanna’s song “Umbrella,” which the lawsuit says has a two-minute music video. The post, which received 221,000 views and 15,000 likes, did not have permission from the song’s publisher, the lawsuit said.

The suit seeks statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each of the nearly 1,700 infringed works, totaling approximately $250 million.

Music publishers represent the copyright to the songwriting and composition, which is separate from the copyright to the recording.

The lawsuit also documents the music publisher’s attempt to notify Twitter of the infringement through an agreement outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which in 1998 protects Internet service providers when users post copyrighted material, but outlines a series of Guidelines removed.

Since December 2021, the National Association of Music Publishers notified Twitter of approximately 300,000 tweets featuring infringing music, according to the lawsuit. The company often delayed or failed to act on those notices, the lawsuit said.

Since 2021, Twitter has been negotiating licensing rights with three major music labels – Universal, Sony and Warner – but talks stalled after Mr. Musk bought the company for $44 billion in October. Music rights deals, which require social media companies to compensate publishers and record labels when users post or play song content, can cost more than $100 million a year.

Since buying Twitter, Mr. Musk has cut costs by laying off staff, waiving rent payments and avoiding bills to various suppliers. Advertising revenues are down and the company faces billions of dollars in debt payments from Mr. Musk’s acquisitions. Mr. Musk has said that Twitter is heading for bankruptcy.

The lawsuit seeks to use Mr. Musk’s own words against him.It cites a series of his tweets in which he said current copyright law “goes absurdly far beyond protecting original creators.” He Add to“Overzealous DMCAs are a plague on humanity.”

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