Copyright and its lawful use by another are more important than is often deemed by people. A lack of awareness about Intellectual Property laws and the pecuniary consequences that may arise from the non-compliance of such laws is not taken by people or companies as seriously as it should be. An example of the same can be drawn from the recent litigation proceedings of Sony Music Entertainment v. Triller Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment and Triller had signed a licensing deal way back in 2016 whereby the latter would receive rights to use create, distribute and reproduce derivative versions of Sony’s music on the payment of an agreed sum, monthly. The situation escalated only in 2022 when Triller had failed to fulfill the agreed payments as decided in the licensing agreement. The lawsuit was initiated by Sony Music Entertainment in 2022 against Triller, a short-form video platform similar to Tik Tok for using over 50 songs registered under Sony’s label without fulfilling their financial obligations to Sony under a licensing agreement. This naturally caused a breach of contract on the part of Triller Inc. resulting in extensive infringement of copyright held by Sony over the songs used by Triller. The musical tracks used by Triller were sung by world-renowned singers like Harry Styles, Britney Spears, Janis Joplin etc. In December 2022, Triller agreed to settle its lawsuit with Sony by paying the latter damages accounting to $4.57 million. While this finally brought an end to the litigation proceedings between Sony and Triller, it could not have been timed worse as Triller was set to make its debut in the New York Stock Exchange soon.
Triller has simultaneously also breached a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group. This form of litigation proceeding against the company is detrimental to the reputation and growth of the company and can often drive away investors.