This is a dispute that could well be settled in court. The biggest music labels are claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid rights from Twitter, accusing the social network of not having acted sufficiently against the improper use of songs on its platform.
“Twitter is the only major social network that has consistently refused to make deals to use millions of songs,” David Israelite, CEO of the Music Publishers Association of America (NMPA), commented in a reaction forwarded to Agence France-Presse.
According to him, the leaders of the blue bird group “know very well that music is posted, launched and listened to by millions of people on its platform every day”. Publishers are complaining about Twitter’s slowness to remove music content posted without permission, with delays reaching “often weeks,” “sometimes longer,” according to a document filed Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee.
At the same time, the company uses this content to attract Internet users and monetizes tweets including music through advertising, argue the labels, including Universal, Sony or Warner. They are asking the courts to order Twitter to stop these practices and to pay 150,000 dollars for each piece used without authorization.
Thousands of tweets having been noted by the publishers, the bill could potentially amount to several hundred million dollars. Twitter no longer has a press service and responded to a request from Agence France-Presse with a turd emoji.
The other major social networks, from Snapchat to YouTube, have all entered into revenue-sharing agreements with music publishers that allow Internet users to use songs in their videos or messages without exposing themselves to having them removed from the considered platform.