Spotify served cease and desist letter over unlicensed lyrics

Posted On
Posted By admin

Spotify has been served a cease and desist letter from the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). The letter alleges the streaming platform hosts “unlicensed lyrics, music videos and podcasts.”

While the letter doesn’t refer to specific work, it instead takes a general approach to copyright infringement. It states that Spotify has directly infringed rights by hosting unauthorised content and that “Making matters worse, Spotify profits from such infringement.” 

According to Billboard, the document reads: “It has come to our attention that Spotify displays lyrics and reproduces and distributes music videos and podcasts using musical works without the consent of or compensation to the respective publishers and/or administrators (our members) who control the copyrights in the musical compositions.”

Furthermore, the letter claims, “As such, these uses of musical works on the Spotify platform are not licensed or will soon become unlicensed.” 

Additionally, Spotify recently announced plans to roll out an update that allows people to ‘remix’ songs on the platform. This comes in the wake of the popularity of sped-up and slowed-down versions of tracks.

Spotify plans to include features where people can alter the tempo and pitch of a song and mash tracks together directly on the app. The NMPA have addressed this proposal, stating, “Any such feature without the proper licenses in place from our members may constitute additional direct infringement.” 

The NMPA also made a series of demands that they want the streaming platform to adhere to which most notable includes that all unlicensed work be removed. 

Spotify has replied to the claims with a spokesperson labelling the letter a “press stunt filled with false and misleading claims.” They also allege the document is a blatant attempt by the NMPA to “deflect from the Phono IV deal that the NMPA agreed to and celebrated back in 2022.” 

The streaming platform said, “We paid a record amount to benefit songwriters in 2023, and we are on track to exceed this amount [globally] in 2024. Spotify is a platform for licensed content. We are committed to the integrity of our platform, and we have a clear process in place for rightsholders to contact Spotify about any content they believe is unlicensed.” 

This is a developing story.

Related Topics

Related Post