Music labels suing Twitter/X for copyright infringement partially allowed to move forward with lawsuit

The lawsuit began last year in June, with X filing to dismiss it shortly after.

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A phone showing ther X logo. Both the Twitter / X logos are blurred in the background.

Image: Kirill Kudryavtsev / Getty

The coalition of music labels suing X (Twitter) for alleged copyright infringement are permitted to move forward with parts of their lawsuit, it has been reported.

In June 2023, it was revealed that 17 music industry bodies – including Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Group, Warner Chappell, BMG and more – were seeking to claim $250 million in damages for “hundreds of thousands” of alleged infringements of approximately 1,700 pieces of music.

Now, as The Verge reports, US District Judge Aleta A. Trauger has partially denied X’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that it’s still not clear “to what extent X Corp may be liable for the infringing acts of users on its platform” in a new filing.

X’s motion to dismiss claims that it allegedly failed to respond to infringement claims in a timely manner and didn’t take appropriate action against “repeat infringers” has also been denied.

However, the judge has also agreed to dismiss allegations put forth by the coalition (the National Music Publishers’ Association, or NMPA) that X engaged in direct copyright infringement and that the platform is “vicariously liable” for direct infringements by users.

As opposed to other social media platforms, X has reportedly not negotiated music licensing agreements with music copyright holders. This has also been addressed in the filing document.

It states, “The plaintiffs complain that, ‘[w]hile the Twitter platform began as a destination for short text-based messages,’ it has since become a ‘hot destination for multimedia content, with music- infused videos being of particular and paramount importance.’ There are lawful ways for a social media company to offer such media – particularly, by entering into licensing agreements with rights holders, as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat have done.

“Copyright licences, though, typically must be paid for, and X/Twitter is, the plaintiffs suggest, effectively trying to generate the kind of revenue that one would expect as a lawful purveyor of music and other media, without incurring the cost of actually paying for the licences.”

Proceedings now remain ongoing. View the full document, as shared by The Verge, to find out more.


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