Another day, another copyright infringement lawsuit although this one involves sound rather than imagery.
Epidemic Sound is taking Meta to court and suing for $USD 145 million in damages, Billboard reports.
The infringing actions in this case? Meta’s platforms Facebook and Instagram have features that allow users to share others’ content and add their own spin, original background music and all. This has led to the “exponential” infringement of Epidemic Sound’s copyrights to that music, the lawsuit alleges, and is, in fact, “intentionally and brazenly” encouraged by the platforms through these features.
To make matters somewhat interesting, Epidemic Sound also charges Meta with preventing it from exercising its rights to copyright through the company’s own internal resolution mechanism and hasn’t provided the plaintiff with a reason as to why they cannot access those features which are, nominally, open to all creators on Instagram and Facebook.
Of course, we’ve seen this play out with images on social media, most popularly when it comes to celebrities sharing pictures of themselves without permission that photographers have taken of them. For their part, Epidemic Sound occupies a somewhat similar middleman position as celebrity photographers in that they provide licensable sound and music for use in movies, television, and other media, according to the company’s website.
That said, while they have a pretty large presence in the industry, they are nowhere near the size of Meta and the lawsuit somewhat hints at this size differential as perhaps incentivizing behavior that violates Epidemic Sound’s copyright. Whether that is the case or not will be up to a US court to decide.
We’d love to know your thoughts on Epidemic Sound’s lawsuit if you have any in the comments below.
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