Twitter is being sued over copyright infringement for letting users post music without the proper licensing. On Wednesday, 17 music publishers filed a lawsuit against the social media platform in a Nashville federal court, alleging Twitter committed “countless infringing copies of musical compositions” and has increased since Elon Musk took over last fall.
Sources report National Music Publishers’ Association’s President David Israelite stated “Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service.” The association is joined by its members Sony Music Publishing, Warner Music Group, BMG Rights Management, and Universal Music Publishing Group.
The music publishing groups claim Twitter committed at least 1,7000 copyright violations and did nothing to remedy the situation. The groups are suing for over $250 million in lost revenue and damages. Some of the songs listed in the lawsuit are “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, “Hey Ya!” by Outkast, and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.
“Twitter’s internal affairs regarding matters pertinent to this case are in disarray” according to the lawsuit and alleges Twitter “routinely ignored” infringements to gain an “unfair advantage” compared to other social media platforms that do pay for music licenses.
As outlined in the complaint:
“The availability of videos with music, including copies of Publishers’ musical compositions, furthers Twitter’s financial interests both because it drives user engagement, and thus advertising revenue, and because Twitter does not pay fees to license musical compositions. Providing free, unlicensed music gives the Twitter platform an unfair advantage over competing platforms, such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and others.”
Although Twitter has yet to respond to the allegations, a tweet from Elon Musk last year well before the lawsuit was filed states his stance on copyright laws.
“Current copyright law in general goes absurdly far beyond protecting the original creator,” Musk tweeted on May 12th, 2022, later stating “Overzealous DMCA is a plague on humanity.”
This is just one of several lawsuits Twitter is currently dealing with, including a government investigation “for possible violations of its privacy and security agreements with the Federal Trade Commission.”