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Home » News » Spotify is being sued for $150 million over unpaid royalties

Spotify is being sued for $150 million over unpaid royalties


Via The Verge, by Lizzie Plaugic:

Musician David Lowery has filed a class action lawsuit against Spotify, claiming the streaming service knowingly distributes copyrighted content, Billboard reports. Lowery is seeking at least $150 million in damages for the illegal distribution of several of his songs.

Lowery’s complaint alleges Spotify causes “substantial harm and injury to the copyright holders” by intentionally failing to obtain the proper licenses for the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted compositions, Billboard reports. In the complaint, Lowery says Spotify has illegally duplicated or hosted several songs by his band Cracker, including “King of Bakersfield,” “Almond Grove,” and “Tonight I Cross the Border,” according to Billboard. Lowery will represent a proposed group of over 100 members who share his frustrations with the service.

Photo credit: Blixt A. via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Spotify seems to understand that some of the content it hosts will infringe on copyright. Lowery’s complaint claims that Spotify keeps a “$17 to $25 million reserve” for the sole purpose of paying royalties that were never distributed to artists.

In recent years, Lowery has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of the current state of the music industry. You may remember him as the man who wrote an open letter to an NPR intern regarding an article she wrote about not paying for music. In the letter, he sarcastically congratulates her for “unsticking it to the man.” Lowery is still trying to un-unstick it.

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