Seventeen music publishers in the US have filed a lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that the platform facilitated copyright infringements related to approximately 1,700 songs.
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is seeking damages exceeding $250 million (£197.7 million).
The NMPA has filed a lawsuit at the Federal District Court in Nashville, asserting that Twitter allows and promotes infringement for financial gain. According to the NMPA, the situation has not improved even after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company.
Music publishers, including Sony Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management, and Universal Music Publishing Group, have filed a lawsuit against Twitter. The publishers, represented by the NMPA, claim that Twitter is profiting significantly from the unauthorized availability of music without adequately compensating for the required licensing fees.
Additionally, the NMPA stated that these infringements have granted Twitter an “unfair advantage” over its competitors, such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, all of which properly pay for music licenses.
In a statement, David Israelite, President of the NMPA, pointed out that Twitter is the largest social media platform that has adamantly refused to obtain licenses for the millions of songs available on its service. When approached by the BBC for a comment, Twitter did not provide a direct response.
After reclaiming the title of the world’s richest person, Elon Musk acquired Twitter last year for a staggering $44 billion.
Despite undergoing a change in ownership in October 2022, Twitter’s conduct regarding copyright issues has not shown any significant improvements, as noted by the NMPA.
Furthermore, the NMPA stated that Twitter’s internal affairs related to the matters relevant to this case are in disarray, rather than exhibiting any semblance of order or improvement.
The NMPA pointed out that Twitter’s downsizing of crucial departments responsible for content review and enforcing terms of service violations, along with the resignations of trust and safety chiefs Yoel Roth and Ella Irwin, served as evidence in their case.
Additionally, the NMPA accused Twitter of routinely disregarding known repeat infringers and instances of copyright infringement.
Earlier this month, Linda Yaccarino, who previously served as the head of advertising at media giant NBCUniversal, assumed the leadership position at the embattled social media company.
Ms. Yaccarino is responsible for overseeing the business operations of the platform, which has been grappling with financial challenges and striving to generate profits.
Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, he has implemented significant workforce reductions, amounting to a 75% reduction, which included teams responsible for monitoring and addressing abusive content. Additionally, he has introduced alterations to the account verification process within the company.
Source : bbc.com