Eminem Publisher Sues Spotify Claiming Massive Copyright Breach, “Unconstitutional” Law

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Eminem’s publisher Eight Mile Style has filed a major new lawsuit claiming Spotify has infringed hundreds of song copyrights and challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed music licensing law.

In a suit filed Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, Eight Mile accuses Spotify of willful copyright infringement by reproducing “Lose Yourself” and about 250 of the rapper’s songs on its service to the tune of potentially billions of dollars in alleged damages. The suit also targets the Music Modernization Act, a federal law enacted last October that was intended to make life easier for tech companies and to get songwriters paid. The suit accuses Spotify, the $26 billion Stockholm-based streaming behemoth, of not living up to its obligations under the MMA, while also making a frontal attack on one of the few legislative accomplishments during the Donald Trump presidency.

According to the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Spotify has no license for Eminem’s compositions, and despite streaming these works billions of times, “Spotify has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams.”

The suit adds that Spotify has placed “Lose Yourself” into a category called “Copyright Control,” reserved for songs for which the owner is not known. Eight Mile attacks the “absurd” notion that it can’t be identified as the owner of such an iconic song, which was the centerpiece of the 2002 film 8 Mile, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won an Oscar for best original song.

Link to the rest at The Hollywood Reporter

PG has no knowledge of the facts alleged by Eminem in the OP, but he was reminded of Mark Zuckerberg’s motto for Facebook: “Move fast and break things.”

https://xkcd.com/1428/

3 thoughts on “Eminem Publisher Sues Spotify Claiming Massive Copyright Breach, “Unconstitutional” Law”

  1. A lot of people dislike that music subscription royalties are paid in a radio-like manner instead of a purchase basis.

    Considering subscriptions do not confer any ownership rights their position is tenuous. Challenging the law that sets music streaming fees as unconstitutional seems even more tenuous since the constitution explicitly leaves to Congress the right to determine IP terms and conditions.

    Music IP royalties are particularly complicated as they are a mix of rights and rates. He may be stretching his rights a bit too far.

    Worth monitoring.

  2. Major publishers are notoriously bad at providing reliable metadata,and major retailers just load that stuff up.without checking.

    • That’s who they have contracts with.
      And who they pay.
      If they got the files from Universal, the beef is with Universal, again, not Spotify.

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