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Sony Music Sues Triller Over Missed Royalty Payments

Earlier this month, Sony Music Entertainment withdrew the rights to its catalog from the shortform video app Triller, claiming the company owed millions in royalty payments.

The major label is now suing the platform for copyright infringement and breach of contract, saying Triller failed to heed their licensing agreement’s termination, as Billboard reports. Sony accused the label of “brazen contempt” for its intellectual property rights, and of failing to pay any royalties since March this year. The label is seeking unspecified compensatory and statutory damages, an order to stop Triller infringing its copyrights, and a declaration that Triller deliberately infringed copyright.

When contacted by Pitchfork, a representative for Sony Music Entertainment offered no additional comment. A representative for Triller shared the following statement with Pitchfork:

"We have yet to be served, but from what we’ve seen, this lawsuit from Sony Music grossly mischaracterizes our relationship with them and leans into the bully persona large music labels are often criticized for. We are focused on furthering the creator economy, and we will continue to seek a contract that achieves that goal. If necessary, we will defend our case in court. The process of removing a music catalogue is not immediate. Triller began the process in July and as of today all identified Sony music has been removed from Triller."

Sony’s clampdown follows a lawsuit Swizz Beatz and Timbaland filed earlier this month, claiming the company still owed them $28 million after buying Verzuz. In 2021, Universal Music Group pulled its music from the platform due to a royalty dispute that was resolved a few months later.

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