Celebrity photo agency Backgrid has sued Twitter over copyright infringement after users uploaded thousands of its photos on the social media platform. Twitter reportedly received DMCA takedown notices, but failed to take action, and it also reportedly failed to sanction “repeat infringers.” Because of this, if Backgrid wins, Twitter will have to pay a whopping $228.9 million!
Backgrid filed the lawsuit on 30 December 2022 at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. According to the lawsuit, Twitter infringed at least 1,526 celebrity photos, and the agency sent over 6,700 notices to take down their copyrighted images. However, Twitter reportedly failed to take any of them down. Furthermore, some Twitter users allegedly posted copyrighted images multiple times, but the lawsuit notes that Twitter failed to suspend their accounts.
According to the same report, Backgrid initially reached out to Twitter trying to resolve this issue direc. But as the company never responded, so the photo agency turned to the court. As The Verge notes, there’s no information about whether Backgrid tried to contact Twitter before or after Musk made it his playground. “An attorney at the firm representing Backgrid did not reply to a request for comment, and Twitter no longer has a public relations department,” this source writes. Yes, you read that right: one of the largest social networks had fired a majority of its public relations department.
In the complaint, Backgrid requests $150,000 per photograph in statutory damages. Since there are “at least” 1,526, it adds up to $228.9 million. However, as The Verge notes, they may not get nearly as much, and Twitter will probably try to settle the case for less. Either way, we’ll keep an eye on the case and keep you posted.
[via The Verge]