Twitter/X Wants Music Publishers’ Copyright Lawsuit Tossed Out

Twitter has filed its first formal response to a lawsuit from music publishers alleging widespread copyright infringement on the platform, arguing that it can’t be held accountable for the actions of its customers.

The submitting got here two months after dozens of music publishers sued the Elon Musk-owned website, claiming its customers had infringed over 1,700 completely different songs from writers like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé — a declare that, if confirmed, may put the social media big on the hook for $255 million in damages.

In a movement to dismiss the lawsuit filed Monday, legal professionals for Twitter (now re-branded to X) argued that the corporate itself was not on the hook for unlawful posts by its customers. Amongst different issues, they cited the Supreme Court docket’s high-profile 2005 ruling on the submitting sharing service Grokster, which mentioned that digital providers can’t be sued except they take energetic steps to encourage infringement by customers.

“In this case, plaintiffs do not allege that X encouraged, induced, or took affirmative steps with the intent to foster the infringement of plaintiffs’ works,” wrote the corporate’s legal professionals, hailing from the legislation agency Quinn Emanuel. “To the contrary, X’s anti-infringement policies and practices … belie any reasonable assumption that X has induced its users to infringe any copyrights.”

The case in opposition to Twitter was organized by the Nationwide Music Publishers’ Affiliation, which has lengthy argued that the positioning is the final main social media service refusing to license music. TikTok, Fb, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat have all allegedly entered into such offers with publishers, offering a library of licensed music for customers to legally add to their posts.

“Twitter stands alone as the largest social media platform that has completely refused to license the millions of songs on its service,” mentioned NMPA president/CEO David Israelite when the case was filed in June. “Twitter knows full well that music is leaked, launched and streamed by billions of people every day on its platform.”

However in Monday’s response, Twitter’s legal professionals argued that even when such licensing offers have been the NMPA’s most popular consequence, they don’t seem to be legally required to keep away from a copyright lawsuit – and that the failure to safe one was irrelevant to the infringement case in opposition to it.

“The allegation … is just another way of saying that X could do more to address the unauthorized use of music on the site by purchasing licenses from Plaintiffs on behalf of X’s users,” Twitter’s attorneys wrote. “Whether X sought music licenses for users or elected not to do so has no bearing on this inquiry; it is not evidence of an intent to encourage infringement.”

Notably, this week’s submitting from Twitter didn’t delve into the thorny problem of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal legislation that limits how web sites like Twitter could be sued over copyright infringement by their customers.

The DMCA offers websites like Twitter with immunity — a “safe harbor” — from litigation over materials uploaded by their customers, as long as they promptly take away infringing content material and ban repeated violators from the platform. The publishers’ lawsuit goes to nice lengths to argue that Twitter did not do both of these issues, that means the positioning has legally forfeited the DMCA’s protections.

Twitter closely refutes that time and, although they didn’t achieve this on Monday, its legal professionals will undoubtedly invoke the DMCA’s protections at a later stage of the case if their present movement is denied.

The case in opposition to Twitter was filed by Harmony, Common Music Publishing Group, peermusic, ABKCO Music, Anthem Leisure, Large Machine Music, BMG Rights Administration, Hipgnosis Songs Group, Kobalt Music Publishing America, Mayimba Music, Reservoir Media Administration, Sony Music Publishing, Spirit Music Group, The Royalty Community, Extremely Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music and Wixen Music Publishing.

A rep for NMPA didn’t instantly return a request for touch upon Twitter’s new submitting.

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