Spotify Denies Copyright Violation Claims from Music Publishers (Variety)

Spotify Denies Copyright Violation Claims from Music Publishers

Friday, May 17th, 2024 Insurance Industry Litigation Technology

Spotify has been accused of copyright violations by the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), which claims that the streaming service uses lyrics and music in its recently launched video function, podcasts, and remix feature without proper licensing or compensation to the publishers. In a cease-and-desist letter, the NMPA demands that Spotify remove any unlicensed content to avoid legal liability.

The NMPA’s letter alleges that Spotify’s use of lyrics, music videos, and podcasts infringes on the rights of music publishers, and highlights concerns over the platform’s remix feature, which allows users to edit and create derivative works from existing songs. The trade association emphasizes that these uses require direct negotiation with rightsholders in a free market, beyond any existing mechanical and public performance licenses Spotify may hold.

Spotify has responded to the allegations, describing the letter as a "press stunt" with "false and misleading claims." The streaming giant defends its practices, asserting that it operates with licensed content and has processes for rights holders to address any concerns about unlicensed material. Spotify also points to its record payments to songwriters in 2023 and its commitment to exceed those amounts in 2024.

This conflict represents the latest in a series of disputes between Spotify and the NMPA, alongside ongoing disagreements over Spotify’s new premium subscription plans that combine music and audiobooks, which the NMPA argues could lower mechanical royalty rates for songwriters.


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External References & Further Reading
https://variety.com/2024/digital/news/spotify-copyright-violation-claims-lyrics-remixes-1236003575/

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