Elon Musk’s X platform files to dismiss music publishers’ $250 million copyright lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed back in June and alleged that “hundreds of thousands” of music infringements had taken place on the platform.

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A phone displaying the X logo, with Elon Musk' profile on a computer in the background

Image: Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

X, the Elon Musk-owned social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has filed to dismiss a lawsuit filed by major music publishers back in June.

The lawsuit accused the platform of wide-scale copyright infringement, and was filed by a coalition of 17 music industry bodies, with plaintiffs including Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Group, Warner Chappell, BMG and more.

The original lawsuit against X seeks to claim $250 million in damages for “hundreds of thousands” of alleged infringements of approximately 1,700 pieces of music.

As opposed to other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, it was reported at the time of the filing that the platform had not negotiated music licensing agreements with music copyright holders.

The motion to dismiss now filed by X is the first response the platform has made since the original lawsuit was filed.

In the document (via Rolling Stone), it has cited a 2005 supreme court ruling from MGM Studios v. Grokster, and has claimed that the publishers “do not allege that X encouraged, induced, or intended to foster the infringement of Plaintiffs’ works,” further arguing that the music publishers “must allege that the defendant took active steps with the intent of encouraging infringement.”

It also adds, “To the contrary, X’s anti-infringement policies and practices, including its DMCA policy, believe any reasonable assumption that X has induced its users to infringe any copyrights,” and further states, “Even reading the Complaint in the light most favourable to Plaintiffs, no liability can be established on the facts as pleaded.”

David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA),  said in a statement (via Music Business Worldwide) on 15 August that “X’s response is par for the course – another attempt to deny the fact that they have consistently failed to stop or even slow the rampant piracy on their platform.”

View the full motion to dismiss at Music Business Worldwide.


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