Twitter is the biggest social media platform that has not licensed the millions of songs on its service, according to David Israelite, the CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA).
Music publishers have sued Twitter in federal court, alleging that the platform has not done enough to prevent widespread copyright infringement.
On Wednesday, the NMPA and its members filed a lawsuit arguing that the social media company should pay up to $150,000 per work infringed, potentially amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Twitter is aware that music is leaked, launched, and streamed by many people on its platform daily.
According to the lawsuit, Twitter’s handling of copyright infringement claims has not improved since Elon Musk acquired the platform for $44 billion in late 2021. The lawsuit in Tennessee argued that Twitter’s internal affairs related to this case are disorganized.
Earlier this month, the head of trust and safety at Twitter confirmed her departure from the company without disclosing the reason for her resignation.
The second person in charge of trust and safety left Twitter after billionaire Musk purchased the platform and decreased content moderation.
After assuming control of Twitter, Musk has caused controversy by firing most of its employees, allowing previously banned accounts back onto the platform, suspending reporters, and implementing fees for once-free services.
According to the lawsuit, Twitter is aware that allowing the rampant infringement of copyrighted music on its platform makes it more popular and profitable, and therefore refuses to stop it.
The lawsuit argued that Twitter has an advantage over competitors like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube because it allows unlicensed music to be used in posts while those platforms pay fees to music publishers.
The suit claimed that Twitter uses numerous unauthorized copies of musical compositions to support its business.