Music publishers sue Twitter for $250 million over copyright infringement allegations

Jun 15, 2023, 10:10 AM UTC
2 mins read
Music publishers sue Twitter for $250 million over copyright infringement allegations

Twitter finds itself embroiled in yet another legal battle as a group of over a dozen music publishers, spearheaded by the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), has filed a $250 million lawsuit against the social media giant. Accusing Twitter of facilitating “massive” copyright infringement, the lawsuit highlights the platform’s failure to establish licensing agreements and adequately address copyright violations.

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The NMPA’s lawsuit emphasizes that Twitter stands out among major social platforms due to its absence of licensing agreements. Although negotiations for a potential deal were reportedly underway, they ultimately fell through, leaving Twitter exposed to allegations of negligence. The New York Times reports that other platforms have recognized the necessity of licensing agreements, making Twitter’s lack of action all the more conspicuous.

The lawsuit contends that Twitter has turned a blind eye to music publishers’ repeated requests to remove copyright-infringing content from its platform, despite receiving weekly notices. It argues that Twitter’s failure to take action against known repeat infringers and instances of infringement within its awareness showcases a disregard for basic steps that could halt the spread of copyrighted material. Furthermore, the suit claims that verified users, including those with significant follower bases, are among the primary offenders, raising concerns about preferential treatment and selective enforcement by Twitter.

While the lawsuit acknowledges that copyright infringement has plagued Twitter for years, it asserts that the situation has deteriorated since Elon Musk assumed a prominent role in the company. The document cites Musk’s public criticism of copyright law, specifically labeling the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a “plague on humanity.” Such remarks, the music publishers argue, exert pressure on Twitter employees, including those responsible for copyright enforcement, further exacerbating the issues at hand. Consequently, the suit claims that Twitter’s internal affairs are currently in a state of disarray.

The implications of Twitter’s alleged copyright infringement go beyond the platform itself. Music creators, whose works are at the core of the NMPA’s concerns, face financial harm and a dilution of their intellectual property rights. The lawsuit serves as a rallying cry for greater protection and enforcement in the digital landscape, reminding social media platforms of their responsibility to secure proper licenses and agreements to safeguard the rights of artists.

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