Twitter is being sued by 17 separate music publishers, which claim the social media platform is permitting users to post music without proper licenses.
“Social media companies behind such well-known platforms as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat have entered into agreements with Publishers and other rights holders that compensate creators of musical compositions for use of their works on those platforms,” the lawsuit states. “There are also dynamic existing markets for individuals to receive streams and downloads of music, including recordings embodying Publishers’ musical compositions, outside the context of social media.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in Nashville, was brought by well-known publishers such as Sony Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $250 million in damages for violation of more than 1,700 copyrights, per Reuters.
Documents state that the copyright issues started before Elon Musk purchased the company and that “Twitter has engaged in, knowingly facilitated, and profited from copyright infringement” after Musk’s takeover as well.
“Twitter knows perfectly well that neither it nor users of the Twitter platform have secured licenses for the rampant use of music being made on its platform as complained of herein,” the lawsuit says. “Nonetheless, in connection with its highly interactive platform, Twitter consistently and knowingly hosts and streams infringing copies of musical compositions, including ones uploaded by or streamed to Tennessee residents and including specific infringing material that Twitter knows is infringing.”
The lawsuit is another hit against Twitter, which has been no stranger to controversy since the billionaire purchased it in November 2022.
Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, started her position this week.