National Music Publishers Association sues Twitter for unpaid music use ($250M)

In a startling interruption of Twitter’s placid and uneventful operation, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has brought a lawsuit against the social media platform, claiming Twitter has failed to pay for music placed on its platform.

The action seeks $250-million in damages. Twitter’s predicted top-line revenue for 2023 is $2B-$5B.

Similar social businesses like Facebook and YouTube manage crowdsourced audio content in some fashion, using royalty payment agreements and/or takedowns of infringing content.


“This case shines a bright light on the need for a fair and effective system to manage copyrights on digital platforms as they exist today.” –Shelly Palmer, Professor of Advanced Media in Residence, Syracuse University


The NMPA charges Twitter with negligence in payment, citing approximately 1,700 musical works. “Twitter fuels its business with countless infringing copies of musical compositions, violating Publishers’ and others’ exclusive rights under copyright law,” the complaint reads according to a report in Variety. The complaint compares Twitter’s alleged carelessness with licenses and agreements in place on other platforms.


“Twitter profits handsomely from its infringement of Publishers’ repertoires of musical compositions.”  –National Music Publishers Association


The music representation organizations participating in the lawsuit include Concord, UMPG, peermusic, ABKCO Music, Anthem Entertainment, Big Machine Music, BMG Rights Management, Hipgnosis Songs Group, Kobalt Music Publishing America, Mayimba Music, Reservoir Media Management, Sony Music Publishing, Spirit Music Group, The Royalty Network, Ultra Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, and Wixen Music Publishing.

Brad Hill