US music publishers have collectively filed a lawsuit against Twitter seeking damages of $250 million.
In this case, the lawsuit claims the social media platform has enabled copyright infringement on almost 1,700 songs. The legal action involves 17 music publishers, including UMPG, Sony Music Publishing, Warner Chappell, BMG, Kobalt, Concord, Peermusic, Reservoir and Hipgnosis.
Unlike other leading social platforms, including TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, Twitter has never been licensed for music. Elon Musk’s takeover of the company prompted calls for that to be addressed.
In the lawsuit filed at the Federal District Court in Nashville, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) claimed that Twitter "permits and encourages infringement".
In a statement issued to Music Week, David Israelite, NMPA president & CEO, said: "Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service. 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 [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] and refuse to pay songwriters and music publishers."
Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, acquired Twitter in 2022 for $44 billion.
The NMPA said: "Twitter's change in ownership in October 2022 has not led to improvements in how it acts with respect to copyright."
Linda Yaccarino, former advertising head at NBCUniversal, was recently appointed CEO of Twitter.
Twitter has yet to comment on the legal action.
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