From banning white supremacist bands from their service, to signing with Warner Music, to losing one of their board of directors and mega hip hop star Jay’s catalog it’s been quite the year for the on-demand streaming service company known as Spotify. Well according to Billboard, Spotify has found themselves in more headlines after their motion was denied in a legal fight over mechanical right payments.
Songwriter and founding member of Frank Valli and The Four Seasons and Bluewater Music Services Corporation Robert Gaudio, sued them this past July. Gaudio’s company Bluewater Music Services Corporation alleges that Spotify infringed their copyrights by streaming compositions for which it hadn’t licensed “mechanical rights.” Spotify responded by filing a motion for a more definite statement, arguing that the publishers complaints do “not set forth a cogent theory of infringement” because it has no obligation to license mechanical rights in the first place, even though the company and other on-demand streaming services have always done so.
Yet and still though the denial of the “motion for a more definite statement” does means that the case can proceed without a revised complaint from the plaintiffs, it doesn’t prevent the company’s attorneys from continuing to make that argument. It is with that reason why a judge denied the motion from the streaming company that suggested that it doesn’t need to license those rights in the first place.
The case has even gain the attention of chief executive of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) David Israelite who belives that if Spotify continues to argue that it has no obligation to license mechanical royalties then they may have to intervene presumably with an amicus brief stating “I’ll be shocked if they try to raise that argument again, because they’ll be at war with the industry.”