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Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash Credit: Wesley Tingey

Music publishers are suing the company formerly known as Twitter, but X is now pushing back. Elon Musk’s company has filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety.

The core of its argument is the age-old platform-not-publisher defence.

“The law requires that direct infringement arise from active, knowing, non-automated conduct by a defendant – not from the passive, automated operations of a website,” as its motion puts it.

“The Complaint contains no allegations of active, intentional conduct by X, or any X employee, related to the allegedly infringing user posts – an omission that is fatal to the claim.”

The filing also claimed that X’s failure to sign licensing deals with music rightsholders is “not evidence of an intent to encourage infringement”.

The ideal outcome here would be deals: partnerships involving licensing music and working on tools to combat infringement.

But X is a private company owned by a capricious billionaire – this week accused of adding five-second delays when users clicked on links to rival social-media platforms and media organisations who he doesn’t like – so the path to any such deals is unlikely to be smooth.

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