Music Publishers Launch Crackdown on Copyright Infringing Apps *TorrentFreak

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The National Music Publishers’ Association has announced a crackdown on apps that use music without a proper license. The industry group has filed a lawsuit against music video creator Vinkle and sent cease-and-desist letters to nearly 100 other infringing apps. Meanwhile, Google and Apple are put on notice and asked to act quickly.

The music industry has been fighting various forms of piracy for several decades, but eradicating it is difficult.

Many law enforcement efforts target services or tools that offer pirated content, but there are also less visible copyright infringement issues.

Unlicensed Platforms and Applications

In recent years, music publishers have repeatedly spoken out against online platforms that use their music without a proper license. These include TikiTok and Roblox, among many others.

These giant rigs are just the tip of the iceberg, it seems. At its annual meeting in New York this week, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) pointed out that copyright-infringing apps are a major problem that should be addressed as soon as possible.

NMPA President and CEO David Israelite announced that the organization is launching a crackdown on apps that use music without paying for it. The music industry association has already sent cease and desist letters to nearly 100 apps that use copyrighted music without proper licenses.

NMPA sues Vinkle

The NMPA didn’t just send out warning letters. To show it’s serious, video creation app Vinkle was sued this week. In a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California, the NMPA accuses the app’s creators of massive copyright infringement.

“Vinkle is in clear violation of copyright law because it is built upon a library of copyrighted musical works that defendant neither owns nor has been licensed to ‘use,’ the complaint states.

“Defendant has brazenly copied voluminous copyrighted musical works from Vinkle’s servers, as Vinkle’s foundation, and provides them to Vinkle users for incorporation into short ‘music videos’ .”

Vinkle’s Complaint (pdf)


The NMPA notes that these types of apps are becoming increasingly aggressive in their use of unlicensed music. Such use violates copyright law and is a clear violation of Apple and Google policies.

As compensation for the alleged infringing activity, music publishers demand compensation. With 55 works mentioned in the complaint, the potential damages could reach $8.25 million.

“Google and Apple should take responsibility”

Speaking at the annual meeting, Israelite also pointed to major app stores. DMN points out that the NMPA has sent “formal notices” to Google and Apple, demanding stronger action against problematic apps.

“[T]he responsibility for licensing music isn’t just limited to the app companies themselves. App stores that license these apps also have a responsibility to ensure that the apps they make available to their customers are legal and non-infringing,” Israelite said.

The boss of the NMPA points out that the association has never lost a lawsuit in its history. The association is confident that this new app crackdown will be successful and expects to see quick results.

According to Israelite, the creators of the app can choose to allow music or close permanently.

“If you are an application that uses music illegally, you can make the right choice to resolve your transgressions and become a legitimate business partner, or you can close. There is no other choice,” he concludes. .

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