Copyright Infringement

Twitter Sued for Copyright Infringement by Digital Music Licensing Group

Twitter, under its new brand name X, faces a copyright infringement lawsuit from Suisa Digital Licensing. The European music licensing organization alleges that the social media firm failed to compensate music authors and publishers whose works are used on its platform.

Suisa Digital Licensing Sues X for Unauthorized Music Use

In Wednesday’s statement, Suisa Digital Licensing announced its legal action against Twitter International in the Munich I District Court. Its lawsuit highlights Twitter’s use of music without appropriate licensing. The organization, based in Liechtenstein, represents a substantial repertoire comprising tens of thousands of publishers, songwriters, composers, and 10 million musical works.

Numerous posts on X reportedly feature many videos paired with music sourced from Suisa Digital’s repertoire, according to the organization’s statement. The X platform is now owned by Elon Musk, following last year’s $44 billion acquisition.

Failed Attempts to Establish Licensing Agreements

The legal action was taken after repeated unsuccessful attempts to establish licensing agreements with X. Fabien Niggemeier, the head of Suisa Digital, emphasized the organization’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of the represented authors and publishers. He stated that the company uses all available resources to protect its clients’ rights and combat music piracy.

Suisa Digital operates as a subsidiary of Suisa, a non-profit cooperative that advocates for music authors and publishers across Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

X Music Usage and Revenue Unknown

The organization expressed difficulty in quantifying the owed compensation due to a lack of access to Twitter’s usage data. Therefore, Suisa Digital demands full disclosure of Twitter’s figures regarding music usage on the X platform and the corresponding revenue generated.

NMPA’s Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Twitter aka X

A parallel lawsuit in the United States from major music publishers last June suggested potential compensation of up to $150,000 per infringed work, with the cumulative sum potentially reaching hundreds of millions of dollars. The lawsuit, filed by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and its members, argued that Twitter’s allowance of unlicensed music on its platform gave it an unfair advantage over competitors like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. These platforms duly compensate music publishers for their content.

Barron’s – December 6, 2023 – AFP – Agence France Presse

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