Sony Music vs. Triller Copyright Infringement Battle Officially Settled, Court Documents Reveal

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Sony Triller settle copyright lawsuit

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Photo Credit: Towfiqu Barbhuiya

Sony Music and Triller have officially agreed to conclude their copyright infringement battle concerning Triller’s use of Sony’s music on the platform.

Sony Music Entertainment and short-form video platform Triller have agreed to settle their copyright infringement legal battle concerning Triller’s unauthorized use of Sony’s music on the platform. While terms of the settlement were not immediately disclosed, the two entities submitted a joint statement on Friday, August 11, announcing the termination of the case with prejudice, thus preventing any re-filing of the case in the future.

Initiated by Sony Music last year, the lawsuit accuses Triller of neglecting to fulfill payment obligations under a licensing contract and engaging in extensive copyright infringement by streaming Sony’s music without authorization following the breach of contract. The filing cited over 50 songs, including tracks by Harry Styles and Britney Spears.

The case stemmed from a content distribution agreement established in 2016, in which Sony Music issued Triller the rights to reproduce, distribute, and create derivative works based on Sony’s sound recordings. But the dispute escalated when Triller stopped honoring its scheduled monthly payments between March and August 2022. Sony also attests that Triller owed payments from September, October, and November 2022.

In December, Triller responded to the case, confirming its inability to pay Sony, and in April, settled a portion of the lawsuit by agreeing to pay Sony $4.57 million for alleged breaches of contract.

The conclusion of Triller’s legal battle with Sony couldn’t come at a better time as Triller recently revived its public offering plan, filing an S-1 on August 2 for its intended listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company acknowledged in its IPO filing that it is “involved in lawsuits and other litigation matters that are expensive and time-consuming, and if resolved adversely, could harm our business, financial condition, or results of operations.”

Meanwhile, Triller is facing another lawsuit from Universal Music Group over unpaid licensing fees. UMG sued Triller in January for failing to pay licensing fees for three consecutive quarters and to provide quarterly usage reports for the label’s music used on the platform.