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Music publishers sue Twitter for $250m+ for Copyright Infringement

Twitter has been served with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit in Tennessee alleging “rampant infringement of copyrighted music” on its platform.

The 17 entities behind the litigation include Tier 1 indie music publishers, as well as top 3 publishers, Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner Chappell Music. They are requesting over $250 million in damages for “hundreds of thousands” of alleged infringements of approximately 1,700 works.

In the complaint, the publishers argue that, “Twitter fuels its business with countless infringing copies of musical compositions. While numerous Twitter competitors respect the need for proper licenses and agreements for the use of musical compositions on their platforms, Twitter does not, and instead breeds massive copyright infringement that harms music creators.”

The full list of companies suing Twitter, all named as plaintiffs, include Concord, Universal Music Publishing Group, 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.

In a statement about the litigation on Wednesday (June 14), David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), which represents the interests of major and independent publishers in the US, said: “Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service.

With Twitter being in such a precarious position right now, due to a great many of their advertisers leaving after Elon Musk bought the company, one can only wonder will they have the resources to pay the proper licensing fees going forward, or the damages from the lawsuit, should they lose.

It is also curious that for as long as Twitter has been successfully in business, when they did have their big advertising revenues rolling in, that this lawsuit has not been brought before now.

More to come as the lawsuit progresses.


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