In May this year, we reported on a copyright infringement lawsuit between music streaming giant, Spotify and musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick. The full article can be read here.
The lawsuit related to Spotify's failure to pay the mechanical license fees needed to stream a particular musicians music. In the end, Spotify were ordered to pay $43 million to the musicians in question to end the class action lawsuit. One would therefore imagine that Spotify would have learnt from this expensive mistake and would have become more equipped at dealing with royalty payments of lesser known rights holders however we have learnt this week that this is certainly not the case.
On Tuesday this week, Billboard reported that two further lawsuits have been filed against the music streaming service again. It appears to signify that Spotify have a serious copyright problem that needs to be addressed. The parties that have filed lawsuits are Bob Gaudio (founder of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons) and Bluewater Music Services Corporation. The complaint unfortunately for Spotify, is again the fact that dozens of works are being distributed on the site without Spotify holding the necessary licenses to do so.
Billboard have reported that the number of works in question involves thousands of song compositions and that Bluewater have stated that they wish to recover a maximum of $150,000.00 for each infringed work in question. The sums speak for themselves; Spotify may potentially have a hefty fine coming their way.
Spotify have explained in the past that when rights holders cannot be identified and therefore cannot be given their royalties, these royalties are set aside until the rights holders can be identified. Many people, however, have criticised Spotify's half-hearted attempts to identify rights holders, claiming their efforts are inadequate.in: Copyright, News