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Sony Music Sues Triller Over Unpaid Licensing Fees

Sony Music Entertainment seeks millions from video-sharing social platform Triller, alleging copyright infringement and missed payments.

Social media platform Triller is receiving backlash from all over. Filed Monday (August 29) in a New York federal court, Sony Music Entertainment is the latest company to seek millions in damages from the video-sharing service, alleging that Sony Music songs were still shared on the app even after the company ended their joint venture.

“Despite extolling the importance and value of ‘innovative technology and intellectual property,’ and claiming to hope that its efforts to curb copyright infringement ‘will set a precedent for us and all content creators going forward that stealing is not going to be tolerated,’ Triller displays brazen contempt for the intellectual property rights of Sony Music, its artists, and others,” Sony Music said in the lawsuit, per Variety.

Triller and Sony Music first launched a content distribution agreement in September 2016, six years before the agreement was terminated on August 8. The music company also claims that starting in March 2022, Triller "historically failed to make payments in a timely manner," to which the platform was notified on July 22 that it was in breach of the agreement after months of requesting outstanding and overdue payments. According to Sony Music, the company got "near-total radio silence in response."

Although Sony Music did not specify the amount they were seeking, the company claims that their content is still available in Triller’s audio library and used in user videos. Another major music company, Universal Music Group, pulled their material from Triller in early 2021, alleging that the service was not paying artists for use of their music.

Earlier this month, a report about Triller's alleged mistreatment of Black content creators was published in The Washington Post. Nearly two weeks later, Verzuz creators and superproducers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland filed a $28 million lawsuit aganist Triller, citing failed payments.