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Elon Musk’s X escapes most lawsuits over copyrighted songs | Technology News

X, The Social Media Platform Owned by Elon Musk, on Tuesday Won The Dismissal of Most of a Lawsuit by 17 Music Publishers That Accused it of Infringing Copyrights on Nearly 1,700 Songs by Letting People Post Online Without Permission.

US District Judge Aleta Trauger in Nashville, Tennessee said the publishers could not pursue a theory of “comprehensive general liability for infringement” against X, which Musk bought for $44 billion in Oct. 2022.

She dismissed two infringement claims, and dismissed a third claim for “contributory” infringement except for accusations that X did not properly police “verified” users and serial infringers, and failed to act on takedown notices quickly enough.

Lawyers for the publishers did not immediately respond to requests for comments. Alex Spiro, a lawyer for X, declined to comment.

Sony Music, Universal Music and other members of the National Music Publishers’ Association trade group had sued X last June, seeking more than $250 million in damages.

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They accused X of regularly ignoring and encouraging copyright infringement, giving it a leg up on platforms such as Meta Platforms’ Facebook, Google’s YouTube and ByteDance’s TikTok that properly license music.

The publishers also said the problem had gotten worse since Musk bought Twitter.

But in a 21-page decision, Trauger said X was not liable for direct infringement, reflecting the distinction in federal copyright law between active participants in infringement, and parties such as X that merely provide a platform for it.

She also said X was not liable for “vicarious” infringement, saying it was not responsible for police how posts were drafted or obtained copyright permission in advance.

“X Corp undoubtedly has some power over Trauger wrote.

Music publishers represent copyrights for songwriters, not for songs themselves.

The case is Concord Music Group Inc et al v X Corp, US District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, No. 23-00606.


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