News came Thursday of Spotify being sued for $150-million by angry musicians. The massive lawsuit claims that the service is playing fast and loose with licensing regulations.
Cracker’s frontman David Lowery has initiated the complaint, which accuses the streaming service of sharing music without obtaining legal permissions to do so. The original language of the lawsuit states that Spotify failed to secure the rights to the tunes. Its streaming practices “creates injury and harm to the copyright holders, and diminishes the integrity of the original works.”
When news of Spotify being sued hit the streets, more than 100 artists ralling behind Lowery. Adding their names to the complaint, according to Billboard.
The complaint made by Lowery claims that the suit qualifies as a class action. Other artists (defining as everyone whose music was offering for playback by Spotify without authorization since December 28, 2012) shared the same interest. Were also on a list on Spotify’s database. The complaint also attempts to enjoin Spotify “from future copyright infringements and violations of particular portions of the Copyright Act.”
The judgment would legally prevent Spotify from distributing any of the songs owned by either Lowery or any other member of the class. If granted, that means that any and all of their songs would disappear from the Spotify catalog.
Media stars like Adele and Taylor Swift are among the few notable artists who have retained some music off Spotify. Some have criticized the streaming service for cutting into industry profits by decreasing album sales and offering small royalty payments.
The royalties paid by Spotify have come under intense criticism from artists. Who claim payments are too low for what they offer. Mariah Carey’s seasonal song All I Want for Christmas Is You was playing 9.4m times worldwide in the seven days before Christmas. Generating approximately $66k in royalties. Spotify’s website says the service has more than 30 million songs available for playback. It’s paid over $3 billion to copyright holders.
Spotify states that it has a fixed amount of funds set aside to remunerate artists. Such as Lowery, i.e. rights holders who are yet to collect their due royalties. However, it remains to be seen whether that will fly in court.
A court case held in October involved Pandora (P). Another online streaming service that ultimately had to pay out $95 million to the copyright owners of songs from the oldies genre.
On Christmas Eve, the service finally announced a deal to bring the Beatles to the list of available artists.