Spotify has confirmed that it is to begin phasing out its service in Uruguay from 1 January 2024. The news comes after the passing of a bill amending the country’s copyright laws, specifically in relation to the royalties due to artists.
The bill calls for “equitable remuneration” for musicians, though did not specify where the additional royalties are to be sourced from, or by whom they will be owed to.
It seems Spotify took issue with the apparent lack of “clarity” in the bill, and the company has stated that “Spotify already pays nearly 70% of every dollar it generates from music to the record labels and publishers that own the rights for music, and represent and pay artists and songwriters,” further claiming that “Any additional payments would make our business untenable.”
The legislative changes were advocated by the Uruguayan Society of Performers (SUDEI). A spokesperson for SUDEI, Gabriela Pintos, insisted “It’s not that we are against the platforms. We are not at all, but we want it to be distributed fairly”. She also added that “performers are the most vulnerable part of the industry”.
The issue of royalties has long been a point of contention within the music industry, as is evident in this case. It remains to be seen whether any agreement will be forthcoming to retain Spotify’s services in the region.
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