Meta loses early bid to dismiss Swedish music label's copyright lawsuit

FILE PHOTO: The Meta logo is seen on smartphone in front of displayed logo of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus in this illustration taken
The Meta logo on smartphone in front of logo of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
  • Epidemic Sound said Meta unlawfully distributed hundreds of tracks
  • Court rejects Meta argument that Epidemic failed to detail "basic facts"

(Reuters) - A San Francisco federal judge on Monday denied a request by Meta Platforms Inc to throw out a lawsuit filed by a Swedish music label that claims Meta infringed thousands of its copyrights through Facebook and Instagram.

Meta did not show that Epidemic Sound AB's allegations were too speculative to support its complaint, a San Francisco federal court said Monday.

Representatives for the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Epidemic said it owns and distributes more than 38,000 pieces of royalty-free music for creators to use in videos, podcasts and other content. Epidemic sued Meta in July for allegedly reproducing at least 950 tracks in its music library for Facebook and Instagram users to download, stream and incorporate into videos without the label's permission.

Epidemic requested at least $142 million in damages from Meta for allegedly distributing its music through "millions" of user videos that have been seen "billions" of times.

Meta told the court in September that the lawsuit should be dismissed because Epidemic had not identified "even a single allegedly infringing copy" of its music "on a Meta property," and had not included other "basic facts" about the supposed violations.

But U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied Meta's motion on Monday, finding Epidemic's complaint was detailed enough to justify continuing the case.

The case is Epidemic Sound AB v. Meta Platforms Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:22-cv-04223.

For Epidemic: Ilene Farkas and Mona Simonian of Pryor Cashman; and Adam Cashman and Evan Budaj of Singer Cashman

For Meta: Joe Wetzel and Alli Stillman of Latham & Watkins

Read more:

Lawsuit says Meta stole hundreds of songs from Swedish music label

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713