back to article Music bosses go after Twitter's unlicensed soundtrack to the tune of $250M

Twitter is "fuelling its business" with "countless infringing copies of musical compositions," according to a lawsuit filed in Tennessee by a long list of music publishers who cite nearly 2,000 tracks ranging from the Seinfeld theme tune to the The Weeknd's "Save Your Tears". The publishers say [PDF] the "pervasive infringing …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    They are getting into the queue

    When twitter goes down who is going to get paid ? Many will not. So the music people are making their claim and hope that they can get a slice.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      The big if ...

      Looking only at Twitter, there is not enough of value to pay all the creditors. Any normal, sane, or vaguely competent CEO would make damn certain their personal wealth is not at risk from piercing the corporate veil. <embiggen>If</embiggen> Musk were to work his way through the list of things not to do his shares in Tesla and SpaceX would be up for grabs.

      I am expecting delays followed by more pissing and whining on an epic scale then a hasty settlement to avoid a return to the Delaware court of Chancery.

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        "the Delaware court of Chancery."

        Sounds like an appropriate place to take Musk. He is a chancer, after all.

  2. mikus

    How does a failing business model make something from nothing? Hire lawyers and sue everyone for anything.

    I do hope Musk publicly taunts the RIAA/MPAA media cartels, it should prove as entertaining as a couple of one-legged men in an asskicking contest.

    1. usbac Silver badge

      Another case where both sides should lose!

      1. Brian 3

        If the courts could take a loss as well we'd have a trifecta!

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    Could I get $1 from any organization that sends me a spam email? $250M would only be peanuts.

  4. Eclectic Man Silver badge


    I had to look that one up, it means "very satisfactory"

    "Theories about the origin of copacetic abound, but the facts about the word’s history are scant: it appears to have arisen in African-American slang in the southern U.S., possibly as early as the 1880s, with earliest known evidence of it in print dating only to 1919."

    So, thanks to the Register for teaching me a new word that is used primarily only in the USA.

    1. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: "copacetic"

      Ditto - I had to look it up when starting to read books by James Lee Burke. North American only although I think I have seen it used once in British media.

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: "copacetic"

      The Register needs to be careful about that sort of stuff. It's British quaintness and eccentric use of language have always been what sets it apart.

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: "copacetic"

        It's British quaintness and eccentric use of language is now long gone. Burned to ashes, pissed on and buried.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Sounds like

          piffle to me.


    3. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

      Re: "copacetic"

      I'm starting to get flashbacks to reading the NME 30+ years ago. Too many gig and record reviews were used as platforms by its contributors to show off how supposedly erudite they were but little useful information was conveyed. One guy in particular (I forget his name now) made a thesaurus a requirement just to observe that he had nothing to say. At the other end of the scale you had the likes of Julie Burchill who reckoned she could manage the same feat by just using the word "smorgasbord" as often as possible: "i's exo'ick!" etc.

    4. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: "copacetic"

      Used as a running joke or leifmotif in Pratchett’s Raising Steam, too.

  5. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Interesting list of tracks

    "Another brick in the wall (pt 2)" is there - 'cos Elon don't need no education - but Twitter doesn't seem to have "Money".

    1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

      Re: Interesting list of tracks

      Or indeed "Keep Talking" - "...... why don't you talk to me? ......"

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Just send an invoice and we'll process it as normal.

  7. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    FB, YT just delete copyrighted material

    So during lockdown, we took to posting church services on Facebook and Youtube, like everyone else did. Pretty quick we realised that they both fingerprinted the audio and barred any upload that contained copyrighted music. We complained on the basis that we had the correct (and quite expensive) CCLI license allowing us to do this{0], to no avail. So what is this license agreement they have with music industry? Does it say 'Just Say No'?

    [0] legally debatable in this application, but the closest we could could get to being licensed.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: FB, YT just delete copyrighted material

      I'm guessing it was not traditional hymns in the service?

      Most of the "traditional hymns" in UK services are long out of copyright so no performance rights issues with those.

      I'm a firm believer that false copyright takedowns should give big compensation to those whose content is unfairly removed, that will stop all the dubious automated takedown stuff if Google, FB or the big music companies (depending who is at fault for the takedown) got some hefty fines.

      My favourite crap takedown story is still this one re white noise

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: FB, YT just delete copyrighted material

        Just about everything since the mid 1920s is owned by someone who expects to extract tribute from anyone stupid enough to use it.

        Fortunately most really good music predates this time and while the copyright trolls will take a copy of 200 year old music and claim its theirs because they (or rather their computer) twiddled a few knobs it should be easy to fight back. Because the only way you'll ever defeat this beast is by starving it. They'll complain that we're starving the creators, the little people, but as we all know with relatively few exceptions its never these people that make the money, its the traders and middlemen that clean up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FB, YT just delete copyrighted material

        From an article talking about all white painitings - e.g. Richard Ryman's "The Bridge" (~$20million USD)

        Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator at the Whitney Museum in New York says that “white isn’t ever a pure thing, white is always tinted in some way.” Of course we know this, she acknowledges, because we’ve marveled at the dozens of shades of white in the paint section of the hardware store. Attend to the subtle gradations of white, from warm to cool, and the range of textures, lines, patterns, shapes, and “subtle intricacies,” and the all-white painting begins to reveal itself as an almost living, breathing thing rather than a piece of decorative drywall.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FB, YT just delete copyrighted material

        200 years? How about 400? From the WP -

        A few Sundays ago, Camerata Pacifica artistic director Adrian Spence, aided by his tech-savvy son Keiran, went live on Facebook to broadcast a previously recorded performance of Mozart’s Trio in E flat (K. 498), a.k.a. the “Kegelstatt” trio. At least they tried to. The recorded performance was one of many that Spence had drawn from the Camerata’s extensive video archives. When the covid-19 crisis abruptly canceled its season, Spence launched a weekly series of rebroadcasts to fill the silence. These broadcasts, even with their modest virtual attendance of 100 or so viewers per stream, have been essential to keeping Spence’s Santa Barbara-based chamber organization engaged with its audience. That is, until that recent Sunday, when his audience started to disappear, one by one, all the way down to none. “What the hell is going on?”

        What Regomized technical whiz can answer that question without touching the debugger?

  8. MachDiamond Silver badge

    They have to try

    ISP's are getting sued and losing to music companies for not kicking off people that download/share 'illegal' copies of music so it would be very hard given those cases to let Elon off the hook, just because, when he's doing the same thing. YouTube infringements can be a problem due to some people having a radio on in the background or filming something public where there's no getting away from the 3,000W car stereo a few blocks away. You can sorta hear it, but the computer algorithms pick it up very well and just like a photo red light ticket, automatically send out a take-down notice. It's funny to see the police pull up a popular piece of music on their phone when somebody is recording them and being a nuisance. If the person tries to post the clip on YT, it will be taken down pretty fast if the cop uses a Taylor Swift or Madonna track.

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