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I have a small social media sort of app, if some user were to use a song on my platform without proper copyrights can the platform(my app) get sued ?

No there is no monetization for user.

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  • What specifically do you mean by 'uses': the user uploads the song to your platform for other users to download? Is it the song in its entirety, or have they e.g. used a short portion of the song as a soundtrack to a video? etc. – Rup Sep 23 '20 at 7:19
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    Where are you located? Is there a DMCA-shield you could use? – Trish Sep 23 '20 at 8:34
  • @Rup not available for download, just used in the background. – vipul petkar Sep 24 '20 at 8:32
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Probably not, because you should be in a position to rely on the Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA.

Safe Harbor protects service providers who provide open, non-moderated spaces for users to directly contribute content. Safe Harbor means you do not need an army of moderators to inspect every message posted to the site or system. It is essential for sites like Twitter, Youtube or StackExchange to exist.

You are not liable for that content if you provide a means for IP owners to report copyright violations, and promptly take down any content which an IP owner reports as violating. You don't need to get in the middle of whether that's really true; there's a mechanism for the user and IP owner to "duke it out" directly at no risk to you.

However you must take the required steps. For instance you must register an agent, and respond timely to DMCA takedown notices, which means you must be reachable as per the law. Your designated agent address must be staffed 9-5.

Note that the "Designated Agent" can be the same person as the "Registered Agent" that you already must have when you are an LLC or corporation. And you'll want to be an LLC or corporation by the time you get big enough to worry about copyright lawsuits.

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  • 1
    actually, the most common error would be not registring the agent, followed by the staffing you mentioned. – Trish Sep 23 '20 at 22:24
  • @Trish good point. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 24 '20 at 15:48
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No, you can't get sued for that. For example, Sony Music may ask you to block or delete the song. If you will refuse, they probably will go to court with an "empty" case. But that scenario is barely possible until you get like 500k+ downloads. You can learn more with a life situation that Russian network met and how they handled it after

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  • What is an "empty" case? – Ryan M Sep 27 '20 at 1:47
  • When big companies know that they can't win the case. But can damage small companies financially – loveyer Sep 28 '20 at 17:04

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