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US Music Publishers Hit Twitter With $250m Infringement Suit

A consortium of 17 music publishers in the US has sued Twitter for alleged copyright infringement.

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), in the lawsuit, is seeking more than $250 million in damages.

Deadline reports that the trade group filed the suit at a federal court in Nashville on behalf of 17 music publishing companies including Universal, Polygram, BMG, Sony, EMI, Concord, and Warner Chappell.

NMPA claimed that Twitter enabled copyright violations for 1,700 songs by hosting them without permission.

The suit, addressed to Twitter’s parent company X Corp, seeks up to $150,000 for each case as well as damages.

NMPA said Twitter stands alone as a social media giant that “refused” to reach licensing deals with publishers.

It argued that the infringements give Twitter an “unfair advantage” over the likes of TikTok and Snapchat that pay.

“Videos with music, including infringing copies of publishers’ songs, attract and retain account holders and viewers, and grow the body of engaging tweets on the Twitter platform,” NMPA was quoted as saying in the suit.

“Twitter then monetizes those tweets and users via advertising, subscriptions, and data licensing, all of which serve to increase Twitter’s valuation and revenues.”

NMPA said it began sending Twitter weekly notices in December 2021, identifying over 300,000 infringing tweets.

“Twitter’s policies and its response to the NMPA Notices make clear that Twitter does not take its legal obligations with respect to copyright infringement seriously,” the trading group added.

“[It] has not adopted, reasonably implemented, nor informed subscribers or account holders of, a policy to terminate users engaging in repeated acts of copyright infringement.”

Elon Musk acquired Twitter in 2022 for $44 billion, downsized major departments, cut a huge chunk of the site’s workforce including teams charged with tracking abuse, and changed how the company verifies accounts.

Linda Yaccarino, the former head of advertising at media firm NBC Universal, became the new CEO in May 2023.

Written by PH

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