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Twitter Faces $250 Million Lawsuit by Major Music Publishers

A coalition of music publishers, which includes Universal Music Corp., BMG, Warner Chapell, and Sony Music Publishing, is suing Twitter over claims against the social network over copyright violations.

Twitter Faces $250 Million Lawsuit by Major Music Publishers

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), representing 17 publishers, has published a list of 1,700 songs for which it has sent numerous messages to the virtual platform about the facts of non-compliance with copyright. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Federal District Court of Nashville, contains information that Twitter did not respond to these notifications in any way and did not take measures to curb illegal practices.

The publishers’ organization, commenting on its goals in the framework of this trial, announced that it intends to achieve fines of up to 150 thousand dollars on the fact of each case of non-compliance with copyright.

The lawsuit also contains an allegation that the social network stimulates business development with numerous counterfeit copies of musical works. The result of this practice is a violation of the exclusive rights of publishers and others in accordance with the copyright law.

The lawsuit also focuses on the fact that, unlike its competitors TikTok and Instagram, Twitter did not enter into a licensing agreement for the use of music, which is subject to the principle of protection defined by the legislative framework governing the realization of the rights of authors to their works.

In March, American media reported that a social network owned by Elon Musk was negotiating the signing of a music licensing agreement, but this process did not bring any result. Experts admit that the reason for this may be the cost-cutting policy, which is implemented after the change of ownership of Twitter. The cost of a licensing agreement can be $100 million. Such expenses are not consistent with the financial strategy of the social network.

The plaintiffs stated that Twitter is a popular place for multimedia content due to the fact that many users upload videos containing licensed music. The lawsuit pays special attention to the fact that Elon Musk approved the placement of two-hour videos by paid users.

There have been cases on Twitter when films with copyright were uploaded to the platform. The lawsuit also contains a link to the social network’s own marketing material, which describes the benefits of videos in terms of the potential to increase engagement.

The plaintiffs mentioned Elon Musk’s tweet last year, in which he calls the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) a plague of humanity.

David Israelite, president of the National Association of Music Publishers, says that Twitter refused to license millions of songs on its service.

As we have reported earlier, Twitter Launches Community Notes for Images.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.