Twitter is being sued for $250 million by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) in the United States for alleged extensive copyright infringement of music.
The lawsuit, which represents 17 music publishers, was filed in a federal court in Tennessee and seeks damages and injunctive relief, citing Twitter’s deliberate infringement of copyright.
According to the lawsuit, Twitter utilizes numerous unauthorized copies of musical compositions to sustain its business, thereby violating the exclusive rights of publishers and other rights holders under copyright law. Unlike its competitors, many of whom recognize the importance of obtaining proper licenses and agreements for using musical compositions on their platforms, Twitter has failed to do so. This failure has resulted in rampant copyright infringement that adversely affects music creators.
The lawsuit includes a list of approximately 1,700 songs, for which multiple copyright notices have been sent to Twitter. The NMPA is urging the court to impose fines of up to $150,000 for each violation committed by the micro-blogging platform.
While Twitter initially gained popularity as a platform for brief text-based messages, it expanded its business model to more aggressively compete with other social media sites in terms of attracting users, advertisers, and subscribers. The lawsuit emphasizes that Twitter intentionally became a significant hub for multimedia content, with music-infused videos playing a particularly important role.
The NMPA argues that Twitter has failed to promptly remove infringing content even after being notified, and has continued to assist known repeat infringers without any consequences, such as account suspension or termination.
The lawsuit asserts that Twitter substantially benefits from its infringement of publishers’ catalog of musical compositions. The audio and audio-visual recordings embodying these compositions not only attract and retain users, including account holders and visitors, but also drive engagement, ultimately boosting Twitter’s profitable advertising business and other revenue streams.