Copyright Infringement

Sony Music Sues Triller for Copyright Infringement and More

Sony Music has filed a lawsuit In New York federal court against video-sharing application Triller, alleging copyright infringement and breach of contract. The company is asking for millions of dollars in compensation. Sony claims that since March 2022, Triller has not paid its licensing fees, and yet continues to allow songs by Sony Music artists to be shared by app users, even after Sony terminated their deal.

In their legal filing, Sony Music pointed out that while saying that the company values intellectual property, Triller is showing its contempt for the IP rights of Sony Music Entertainment and its artists. Triller has responded that they believe the suit wrongly describes their relationship and that they are “bullying” the video sharing company. The company also stated that they have started the lengthy process of removing Sony music from its app.

This is not Triller’s first lawsuit. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sued the company earlier in the month, claiming that Triller owed them $28 million from the company’s acquisition of livestreaming rap competition webcast, Verzuz.

Triller and Sony Music first signed their content distribution agreement in September 2016. Although the video app company has historically not made timely payments, as per the agreement, the lawsuit alleges that the situation has gotten worse. After months of outstanding payments and little response, Sony Music notified Triller that it was a breach of its contract. According to the recent filing, they terminated the agreement in August and informed Triller that any use of Sony Music’s content would be copyright infringement.

The lawsuit says that Sony Music content is still part of the Triller audio library and is being used in users’ videos. In addition to compensatory and statutory damages, Sony Music has ordered Triller to stop its infringement of Sony Music’s copyrighted material.

In 2021, Universal Music Group removed its music from Triller, alleging that the company was not compensating artists. In May 2021, the companies reached global licensing deals that covered both recorded material and publishing.

Los Angeles-based Triller has announced a scheduled IPO in early Q4.

Variety – August 30, 2022 – Todd Spangler

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