By: Adam Roberts
Popular music streaming service Spotify has agreed to pay $43.45 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a collection of songwriters and music copyright holders. The class plaintiffs allege that Spotify unlawfully distributed their music to consumers without paying what are known as ‘mechanical royalties.’ Mechanical royalties are the payments made to a songwriter which gives one the legal right to reproduce a piece of music. Under Section 115 of the Copyright Act, services like Spotify must pay mechanical royalties for all songs streamed on their web service. Although the class action has reached a proposed resolution, there may still be legal issues in seeking court approval of the settlement. Continue reading
By Amy Wang
Taylor Swift recently announced her highly publicized breakup with Spotify, the popular music-streaming platform. Not only has Swift denied Spotify streaming access to her new album, 1989, but she has also removed all her past albums from Spotify’s catalogue as well, leaving a Blank Space on over 19 million Spotify playlists. The reason?
Swift justified her actions by explaining that she doesn’t feel Spotify “fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music.” To that point, Spotify agrees that artists deserve recognition of their hard work. The company claims that it paid out $2 million to Swift in royalties for the past year and projects that Swift, as one of the most popular musicians in the world today, could earn over $6 million from Spotify alone. On the contrary, Scott Borchetta, CEO of Swift’s label Big Machine, claims that Swift earned less than $500,000 from Spotify streams in the U.S. for the past year. Continue reading