Some big news happened in the music publishing space this week. Justice will be served, apparently! For years now, Twitter has been the only social media platform who has refused to license music on their platform. A strange move, seeing as all of their competitors have gone to the trouble of monetizing music usage. As a result of Twitter's negligence, the platform has become somewhat of the Wild West in terms of unofficial song and video leaks. Either way you spin it, the publishers are not pleased and they are coming for their money.
The National Music Publishers Association, representing 17 major music publishers, has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Twitter for $250 million in damages. The association claims that Twitter has allowed hundreds of thousands of noticed infringements of approximately 1,700 works, which violates publishers' and others' exclusive rights under copyright law.
According to the filed complaint, Twitter hosts and streams infringing copies of musical compositions and consistently allows known repeat infringers to use the platform for more infringement. This unlawful conduct has caused substantial and irreparable harm to publishers, songwriters, and the entire music ecosystem. The plaintiffs include all of the heavy hitters in the music publisher space, such as Sony Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, Concord, Hipgnosis Song Group, Kobalt Music Publishing and BMG Rights Management.
NMPA President/CEO David Israelite states that Twitter is the only social media platform that has refused to license the millions of songs on its service, and can no longer hide behind the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to avoid paying songwriters and music publishers. The lawsuit aims to hold Twitter accountable for its massive copyright infringement and protect the rights of music creators.
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