Triller Answers Sony Music’s Copyright Complaint

In their response to Sony Music Entertainment’s complaint, Triller, Inc. denied all core allegations and argued that they do not owe Sony any money for their use of Sony’s copyrighted music on their music video creation app.

As has been previously covered by Law Street, Triller is a video-sharing social network service on which users can create music videos of their favorite songs and share them with their friends. Per the complaint, Sony and its affiliated studios and labels signed a licensing agreement with Triller in which Triller would pay a licensing fee due on the first of each month for the use of Sony’s music.

However, Sony alleges and Triller admits that beginning in March 2022, Triller stopped making payments. On August 8, 2022, Sony terminated the agreement. Sony alleged that following this termination, Triller continued to use their music; however, Triller says they directed their third-parties to remove the no-longer-licensed tracks. The reply details that these day-to-day functions are handled exclusively by third parties; Trill says this is standard practice in the industry.

While Triller admits to Sony’s allegations of how they generate revenue, they deny that Sony’s music in particular is core to their business model. They say that their general ability to advertise and draw paying users is how they do business.

Triller further admits that they advertise their various partners, who previously included Sony, but denies Sony’s implications from these facts.

Triller is represented by Ritholz Levy Fields LLP. Sony and its affiliates are represented by Oppenheim + Zebrak LLP. The case is set in the Southern District of New York.