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Judge declines to dismiss Epidemic Sound’s lawsuit against Meta

By | Published on Tuesday 29 November 2022

Epidemic Sound

A US judge has declined to dismiss the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by production music firm Epidemic Sound against Facebook and Instagram owner Meta.

Back in July, Epidemic – a production music set-up best known for providing music to online creators – filed a lawsuit against the Meta business, claiming that music from its libraries was being used on the social media firm’s platforms without licence, including within the Facebook and Instagram audio clip libraries. It also claimed that Meta was not granting it full access to the Facebook and Instagram rights management tools, which would allow Epidemic to better manage and control the use of its music in videos uploaded to those social platforms.

Meta then sought to have the case dismissed, saying in a September legal filing that “the lack of specificity in Epidemic’s complaint is striking”. It added: “For all its bluster, Epidemic has failed to identify even a single allegedly infringing copy of any of its works on Meta’s platforms. Such vague assertions and glaring omissions keep Meta in the dark and make it unreasonable and impractical (not to mention unfair) to require Meta to frame a responsive pleading”.

However, judge Jacqueline Scott Corely has not accepted Meta’s arguments for dismissal. Citing relevant legal precedent, she wrote yesterday that Epidemic’s lawsuit “provides ‘fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests’, and plaintiff pleads ‘factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged'”.

Meanwhile, she added, Meta’s motion for dismissal “improperly relies on materials outside the complaint – such as pre-suit investigations and plaintiff’s website information”.

And that’s no good at all, is it? Seemingly not. Because, with that in mind, Scott Corely knocked back Meta’s motion for dismissal and put an initial case management conference in the diary for 12 Jan 2023.