NMPA and Major Music Publishers Sue Twitter for Alleged Copyright Infringement of Over 1,700 Songs. The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and its members have filed a lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that the social media platform has infringed on the copyrights of over 1,700 songs. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, seeks damages of $255 million
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are some of the largest music publishers in the world, including Universal Music Publishing, Sony Music Publishing, and Warner Chappell. They allege that Twitter has allowed users to upload and share copyrighted music without permission, and that the company has failed to take adequate steps to remove infringing content from its platform.
“Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service,” NMPA president David Israelite said in a statement regarding the suit. “Twitter knows full well that music is leaked, launched, and streamed by billions of people every day on its platform. No longer can it hide behind the DMCA and refuse to pay songwriters and music publishers.”
The lawsuit claims that Twitter’s actions constitute direct copyright infringement, contributory infringement, and vicarious infringement. Direct infringement occurs when someone copies a copyrighted work without permission. Contributory infringement occurs when someone helps someone else infringe a copyright, such as by providing them with the tools or materials they need to do so. Vicarious infringement occurs when someone profits from copyright infringement committed by someone else, such as by hosting infringing content on their website.
“Twitter’s change in ownership in October 2022 has not led to improvements in how it acts with respect to copyright,” the plaintiffs said in the suit. “On the contrary, Twitter’s internal affairs regarding matters pertinent to this case are in disarray.” Twitter has not yet responded to the lawsuit. However, the company has a history of refusing to reach licensing agreements with music publishers. This has led to a situation where Twitter is the only major social media platform that does not have a music licensing agreement.
The lawsuit is a significant development in the ongoing battle between music publishers and social media platforms over copyright. It remains to be seen whether the lawsuit will succeed, but it is a sign that music publishers are increasingly willing to take legal action against platforms that they believe are infringing their copyrights.
In addition to the legal ramifications, the lawsuit could also have a significant impact on the music industry. If Twitter is found liable for copyright infringement, it could be forced to pay millions of dollars in damages. This could have a chilling effect on the use of music on Twitter, and could make it more difficult for artists to promote their music on the platform.
The lawsuit is also a sign of the changing landscape of the music industry. In the past, music publishers were able to rely on record labels to collect royalties from streaming services. However, as more and more people listen to music on social media platforms, music publishers are increasingly having to take matters into their own hands. The lawsuit against Twitter is a sign that music publishers are willing to take legal action to protect their copyrights.
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