February 2, 2023

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Universal Music Group sued Trailer for failure to pay licensing fees

2 min read

Universal Music Group sued Trailer on Thursday, alleging that the video-sharing app has failed to pay them for the past nine months in violation of their licensing agreement.

In the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Universal said it notified Triller on Tuesday that it was terminating the contract due to Triller’s repeated violations.

The complaint follows a similar lawsuit in August, in which Sony Music Entertainment alleged that Trailer had continued to use Sony’s music after it stopped paying license fees and Sony terminated their contract.

In the new lawsuit, Universal alleges that Triller has not paid invoices for both a “framework agreement” and a “music app agreement” for the past three quarters. The lawsuit alleges that Triller also failed to provide quarterly usage reports that would detail Universal’s music usage on the app.

“During the period that Thriller defaulted on its payment and reporting obligations, it was reported that Thriller was spending large sums of money, including Julius and Fungage, and throwing lavish events for members of the media and entertainment industry,” the lawsuit said.

Two years ago, Universal pulled its entire catalog from trailers, alleging that the company withheld artist payments and failed to negotiate licensing deals. Both parties later announced a licensing agreement in May 2021.

According to the complaint, Trailer agreed to pay about $3 million for licensing and past use of the Universal Music catalog. This payment will be made in quarterly installments over two years. According to the complaint, Triller missed the last three installments, even though it had made “several written and verbal commitments” to end the bargain.

The lawsuit alleges that Trailer also agreed to pay $1 million under a “framework agreement” for use of its catalog by third-party advertisers or in promotional materials. The lawsuit alleges that Triller made only three of the six quarterly installments required under that contract.

Triller has yet to respond to a request for comment.

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