Twitter Is Facing A Massive Lawsuit From A Group Of Music Publishers Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

Ever since Elon Musk took over at Twitter, things have been going… not awesome. Now, there’s another wrinkle: The social media platform is being sued for $250 million by a group of 17 music publishers, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Nashville yesterday (June 14) and it alleges that Twitter is in violation of copyright law due to users posting music on the platform without permission.

David Israelite, the president of the trade group National Music Publishers’ Association, said in a statement, “Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service.”

Twitter was previously in negotiations with the music industry for licensing agreements, but negotiations broke down months ago.

The suit asks for statutory damages of up to $150,000 each for around 1,700 infringed works, which adds up to about $250 million.

A tweet cited in the suit is a popular post that uses two minutes of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” video. The lawsuit also makes note of “music publishers’ attempts to notify Twitter about infringement through the protocol outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act” (DMCA), but how Twitter regularly either delayed or failed to act on the notices.

The suit makes mention of specific Musk tweets from 2022 about copyright and the DMCA, in which he wrote, “Current copyright law in general goes absurdly far beyond protecting the original creator,” and, “Overzealous DMCA is a plague on humanity.”