Sweden’s Epidemic Sound has a catalog of 38,000 pieces of music spread across 160 genres. These are designed for use in video content, film and television production, podcasts, streaming platforms, and other media. Recently valued at $1.4 billion, the company filed a lawsuit in July here in California against Meta for continually ignoring notices of infringement and not taking steps to stop the infringement.
The suit seeking $142 million in damages in part reads that “Meta has refused to enter into a license with Epidemic, even though Meta has done so with many other rights holders.” Epidemic also claims that Meta created tools to encourage theft on Facebook and Instagram by reproducing at least 950 Epidemic tracks in its library for users to download. Epidemic estimates that there are 80,000 thefts per day of its works by users that are subsequently viewed and heard by billions of others. It also claims that Meta stores, curates, reproduces, and distributes Epidemic’s music without authorization, attribution, or license.
Rather than listing Meta users as infringers, Epidemic cites Meta because it posted the works for use and failed to respond to requests to take the music pieces down. It further added that Meta created functions that make this illegal use possible and encouraged it by making it easy for users to do. Meta apparently contends that if Epidemic identifies music it owns that has been uploaded by a user, it can choose to monitor the use, block it, or require credit via an ownership link.
Judge denies call for dismissal
Meta responded in September by claiming that Epidemic did not identify any infringements on the platform and did not include other essential information for the suit. On November 28, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California judge in San Francisco denied Meta’s request to throw out the case filed by the Swedish company, finding that the claim was detailed enough to justify permitting the case unless or until the allegations are proven false.