Recent months have seen a number of lawsuits against Twitter over unpaid rent and other services, as well as unsuccessful litigation from employees who were fired or left the company before Musk took ownership of it. Local authorities are also looking into the San Francisco-based business. The music copyright lawsuit, which has been in the works for years, only partially relates to Musk’s ownership.
A group of 17 music publishers filed a lawsuit against Twitter on Wednesday, accusing it of violating the copyright of roughly 1,700 songs. They are asking for up to $250 million in damages, which would be the latest legal trouble for Elon Musk’s social media site.
All About The Lawsuit Filed Against Twitter
The publishers claimed that Twitter had broken copyright laws by allowing users to upload music to the service without their consent. The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Nashville. Broad licencing deals had been the subject of months of discussions between Twitter and the music business.
The National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade organisation, released a statement from its president, David Israelite, “Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service.”
The complaint described Twitter’s alleged failure to control widespread copyright infringement of music on the platform, according to the publishers. It cited particular tweets where music was used without authorization, such as one regarding the Rihanna song “Umbrella” that contained, according to the lawsuit, two minutes of the song’s music video. The lawsuit claimed that despite the post having 15,000 likes and 221,000 views, the song’s publishers had not given their consent.
The lawsuit also details the music publishers’ attempts to report Twitter about infringement in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s protocol. This law, passed in 1998, safeguards internet service providers when users upload content protected by copyright but also lays out a number of requirements for how such content should be removed.
The National Music Publishers’ Association allegedly informed Twitter of nearly 300,000 messages since December 2021 that contained copyrighted music, according to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the firm habitually ignored or postponed responding to the notices.
since 2021, though the negotiations came to a halt with Mr. Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the business in October. Deals for music rights, which mandate that social media platforms pay publishers and record labels when users post or play content that includes songs, can cost well over $100 million annually.
Copyright Lawsuit and Delayed Licencing Agreements
The three biggest music publishers in the US, Universal, Sony, and Warner, who are all included in the complaint, were reportedly in talks with Twitter last year to eventually come to an agreement on a licencing pact. The talks reportedly came to a halt after Musk took over in November 2022 and started firing thousands of staff, including some who were in charge of the negotiations, according to a March story in The Times. The corporation reportedly began negotiations with the music labels in the autumn of 2021.
Platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat have also been successful in negotiating licencing deals with music labels. Contrarily, Amazon-owned Twitch recently reached a settlement with the NMPA on music copyright issues.
Will the music publishers be successful in obtaining significant damages? These problems still remain unanswered, and the result of the legal dispute may determine how online music sharing will develop in the future. The conclusion will only become clear with time, leaving us impatiently expecting the next instalment in this thrilling story.
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