Nine Months Later, Freeplay Music and CNN Have Settled Their Multimillion-Dollar Copyright Infringement Showdown

freeplay music cnn lawsuit settlement
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freeplay music cnn lawsuit settlement
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Freeplay Music and CNN have settled their courtroom confrontation concerning the alleged infringement of 115 musical works. Photo Credit: Rubaitul Azad

In late November of 2022, Freeplay Music filed an over $17 million copyright infringement lawsuit against CNN, alleging the unauthorized use of about 115 works in some 280 of the network’s segments. Now, the involved parties have settled the high-stakes legal battle.

22-year-old Freeplay (repped in the case by veteran entertainment attorney Richard Busch) and CNN just recently submitted their notice of settlement, which DMN obtained. As reported approximately nine months back, the production music library’s suit claimed that CNN had without a license used protected tracks on CNN Philippines (73 works in 169 videos), CNN Indonesia (40 works across 91 videos), and CNN Chile (three works in 19 videos).

Additionally, the Scott Schreer-founded plaintiff maintained that the defendant network had re-aired the segments and music in question in the U.S. on CNN International. (Song monitor TuneSat picked up on and informed Freeplay of the alleged infringement, per the legal text.)

“In light of this blatant and willful copyright infringement, anything less than the maximum statutory award of $150,000.00 per infringed work would not get the attention of these media goliaths that continue to commit widespread infringement of FPM’s intellectual property,” Freeplay indicated in its original action.

According to the initially mentioned notice, CNN and Freeplay hammered out “a short form settlement agreement” during a conference last Friday, August 25th.

At the time of writing, the terms of said settlement, including a potential damages payment from CNN, hadn’t been publicly revealed. However, the companies did disclose in the notice that they’re “diligently working on executing a long form final settlement agreement,” with dismissal papers expected to be filed no later than Monday, October 9th.

This latest Freeplay settlement follows the 2021 conclusion of a separate infringement complaint that the song library had levied against Ford in early 2020. More broadly, August has delivered several other noteworthy developments concerning infringement battles.

Dua Lipa is grappling with yet another lawsuit centering on her much-streamed “Levitating” effort, for instance, and the major labels are now spearheading a roughly $400 million action against The Internet Archive over its “Great 78 Project.”

On the other hand, Sony Music Entertainment and TikTok rival Triller have put their rights-related dispute in the rearview, court documents relayed about two weeks ago, and Twitter/X has moved to dismiss a quarter-billion-dollar suit filed in June by a multitude of National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) members.