Spotify is facing another lawsuit over online royalties and licensing from Massachusetts artist Melissa Ferrick.
The online distribution of music has always been a very innovative concept and, when performed correctly, is beneficial for all parties involved. With royalties being paid fairly to contributing artists these companies serve as another more modern outlet for their music to be shared to fans. Unfortunately, like most things, this all sounds really good on paper and has complications being practiced in the real world.
Spotify is one of the biggest music streaming service out there today with millions of subscribers and more and more signing up each day. With this kind of volume and growth it is no surprise that they are facing complications with legal matters involving some of the artists that they feature. On Friday a Newburport, Massachusetts-based artists, Melissa Ferrick, accused Spotify of improperly using her music by failing to license her work, according to La Times. This will be the second time in two weeks that the company will be accused of this and the second suit they will be facing. The official lawsuit accusses the company of “Wholesale copyright infringement,” essentially just a dispute over online royalties and licensing.
Ferrick’s suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, is seeking a settlement of $200 million from Spotify for compensation. The Swedish based company has yet to reply officially to Ferrick’s allegations but has responded via their blog post. The post reads “One of our core commitments is making sure that everyone involved in the creation of music is paid fairly, rapidly, and transparently. Unfortunately, when it comes to publishing and songwriting royalties, especially in the United States, that’s easier said than done because the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rights-holder is often missing, wrong, or incomplete.”
UPDATE: Spotify has set legal motion to counter the $150 million class action lawsuit over copyright infringement that was put forth by Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker front man David Lower, Pitchfork reports.
On February 12th the defendants submitted two separate motions asking the judge to sismiss the case due to lack of jurisdiction and the other requesting the case to be barred from being treated as a class action. Apparently Lowery filed his initial law suit in California while living in Georgia and the corporation is based in New York. As for the motion to bar the case as a class action, Spotify called Lowery’s suit “a fatally flawed candidate for class treatment.” they also made the claim that there was “no way to determine who qualifies as a class member” because of the questions of idenifiying the owner of a song’s mechanical rights, and determining if Spotify “distributed those compositions without license or authorization.”