The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is suing Elon Musk-owned Twitter for a whopping $250 million for violating over 1,700 copyrights. Major music publishers like Sony Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing, and Warner Chappell are members of the organisation.
The music publishers claimed in a US court case that Twitter makes large profits from the “infringement of Publishers’ repertoires of musical compositions.” They asserted that Twitter rejected requests for licenses to utilize the musical composition on the platform.
“Both before and after the sale, Twitter has engaged in, knowingly facilitated, and profited from copyright infringement, at the expense of music creators, to whom Twitter pays nothing,” said the NMPA, arguing that conditions have not remained the same even after Elon Musk purchased Twitter.
Twitter is charged with using illegally obtained or improperly licenced music to monetize tweets. Twitter apparently takes weeks or months to remove content even after receiving copyright notices, increasing its chances of being profitable.
According to the complaint, the website doesn’t take strict action against infringers. According to the lawsuit, it at most briefly suspends accounts; there is no serious risk of termination. “By design, the Twitter platform became a hot destination for multimedia content, with music-infused videos being of particular and paramount importance” the music publishers’ association said.
Changes not made after Musk’s takeover
In a statement, NMPA President David Israelite further noted that Twitter is the only significant social media network to outright decline to licence millions of songs for usage on its service. In addition, the petition asserts that other well-known social media sites, including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, have contracts in place with right holders that permit payment of authors of music.
In the appeal, NMPA stated that Twitter first served as a platform for sending brief text messages. To compete with other social media platforms, Twitter swiftly evolved into a source for multimedia information.
Twitter was in talks for licencing rights with the three major music labels—Universal, Sony, and Warner—since 2021, but the discussions fell apart after the Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk bought the platform, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which targets the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, claims Musk has set the wrong tone at the company. Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last October, but he seems to have done little to help.