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Spotify Is Sued For Violating Copyright By The National Music Publishers Association

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(CTN News) – With regard to Spotify’s remix feature, which allows users to modify songs in a manner such as accelerating or otherwise producing derivative works by altering the lyrics, as well as its recently introduced video function and podcasts, the National Music Publishers Association has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company regarding its use of lyrics in these features.

According to the trade group, such uses are considered to be violations of copyright and require payment in order to be considered legitimate.

Over the course of a number of acrimonious disagreements between Spotify and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and songwriters’ organizations, the letter represents the most recent development.

Furthermore, the two companies are at odds with one another on the new premium subscription levels that Spotify has introduced, which include both music and audiobooks subscriptions.

When it comes to those proposals, the mechanical royalty rate that composers earn will be reduced as a consequence.

The company Spotify, on the other hand,

Insists that earnings for creators will continue to climb as a result of increased volume.

The correspondence begins by saying, “It has been brought to our attention that Spotify reproduces and distributes music videos and podcasts featuring lyrics from musical works without the consent or compensation of the respective publishers and administrators (our members) who own the copyrights to the compositions.”

The letter was written by the general counsel of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), and it was addressed to her counterpart at Spotify as well as the head of music and audiobook businesses at the streaming giant.

The letter stated, “Therefore, these functions of music featured on the Spotify platform are currently unlicensed or will soon lose their licenses.”

“However, notwithstanding any mechanical and public performance licenses that Spotify may possess, the utilization of music and lyrics in podcasts and videos on its platform necessitates rights that ought to be directly negotiated with rightsholders in a free market,” the correspondence further states, referencing legal documents that elaborate on the regulations.

“By hosting unlicensed musical works in its lyrics, videos, and podcasts, and by distributing unauthorized reproductions, synchronizations, displays, and derivative uses of these musical works to its users, Spotify appears to be engaging in direct infringement.” To add insult to injury, Spotify brings in money from this infringement of their intellectual property.

Additionally, it highlights the “remix” aspect of the platform, which enables users to modify tracks by speeding, mashup, or otherwise manipulating them in order to create new compositions. This capability is highlighted in this article.

Following this, Spotify is obligated to remove any lyrics, music videos, podcasts, or remix features that are not allowed, or else it will be subject to copyright liabilities, as stated in the letter.

The following is a statement that was written by a representative of Spotify:

“This letter is a publicity stunt comprised of fraudulent and misleading claims.” An attempt is being made to redirect attention away from the Phono IV agreement, which was celebrated and consented to by the NMPA in the year 2022.

By the year 2024, we are well on our approach to surpassing the amount that we contributed to benefit songwriters in 2023, which was a record-breaking donation overall. Spotify is an online platform that hosts licensed content.

We have established a clear system through which rights holders can alert Spotify about any content that they believe to be unauthorized. This is because we place a high level of significance on maintaining the integrity of our platform.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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