Spotify sued for allegedly streaming 2,445 songs without permission


Spotify has found itself the subject of two new legal battles.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify has been hit with two new lawsuits from music publishers claiming that the streaming music giant has illegally published songs from the label, without the proper permissions.

Artists’ work that is covered in the lawsuit include Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, and Guns ‘N Roses, and others. 2,445 songs are highlighted by the lawsuit.

The two plaintiffs in the suit are Nashville-based publisher Bluewater Music Services, and Bob Gaudio, publisher and primary songwriter for the band Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Bluewater alleges that Spotify has illegally posted 2,339 songs from its catalog, while Gaudio claims the same thing for 106 songs.

The lawsuits are seeking the maximum $150,000 for each unlicensed work. That could bring Spotify’s total damages to $366 million.

They are being represented by copyright lawyer Richard Busch, who recently helped the daughter of late recording artist Marvin Gaye sue Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke for lifting sections of Gaye’s iconic song “Got to Give it Up” for “Blurred Lines.”

In the past, Spotify has been hit by two similar suits, which resulted in settlements of $30 million and $43.4 million. Its defense has rested on the complexity of properly identifying the music copyright holders of each song; making these accidental, rather than willful, violations of the law.

At present, Spotify is smashing Apple Music in terms of subscribers — with more than 140 million active users worldwide, although this number includes its free, ad-support tier. The company is currently valued at 

$13 billion, with plans to go public in the near future.

Source: Tenessean