In November, Spotify was hit by a lawsuit from Florida-based, Jake P. Noch-owned Sosa Entertainment LLC and its sister company, royalty collection firm Pro Music Rights LLC (PMR).
The suit, filed against Spotify in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claimed that Sosa has not been paid full royalties associated with over 550 million streams on Spotify. Noch’s companies seek “over $1bn in damages” from the streaming platform.
The lawsuit filed against Spotify in November claims that the tracks associated with the 550m streams were removed by the platform in a process which began “in or about” May 2017, and were chopped from the service “without advance notice [and] without ever telling [Sosa and PMR] why their songs were removed”.
Sosa alleges that Spotify “manually blanket-banned” the tracks, and then “deliberately and maliciously blacklisted from its platform the Plaintiffs and their founder, Jake Noch, along with each and every single artist, composer, and writer associated with [the parties]”.
PMR has now revealed, via a press release, that it has filed 10 separate copyright infringement actions against other music streaming services, for “the unauthorized public performance of its members’ copyrighted musical works”.
Lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the 10 lawsuits, filed on December 18, 2019, name Apple, Google, YouTube, Amazon, SoundCloud, Pandora, Deezer, 7digital, iHeartradio and Rhapsody as defendants.
Pro Music Rights says it represents approximately 2,000,000 musical works from artists including A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Nipsey Hussle, 2 Chainz, Migos, Gucci Mane and Fall Out Boy, among others. The company estimates its US market share as a PRO at 7.4%.
Some of the works alleged to have been infringed by the 10 defendants, says the company, “feature notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, Lil Yachty, MoneyBaggYo, Larry June, Trae Pound, Sause Walka, Trae Tha Truth, Sosamann, Soulja Boy, Lex Luger, Lud Foe, SlowBucks, Gunplay, OG Maco, Rich The Kid, Fat Trel, Young Scooter, Nipsey Hussle, Famous Dex, Boosie Badazz, Shy Glizzy, 2 Chainz, Migos, Gucci Mane, Young Dolph, Trinidad James and Fall Out Boy”.
The ‘nature of action’ for each of the suits is the same: PMR states in each that the “Defendant has not paid royalties for streams of Plaintiff’s songs”, and that the “Defendant continues to stream Plaintiff’s music without license, and without any compensation made to copyright holders, in blatant disregard of the Copyright Act”.
Each of the lawsuits seeks “the maximum $150,000.00 for each act of willful infringement with respect to the copyrights involved in the action.”
PMR says that it “has made numerous attempts to offer a license and educate all of the defendants about their obligations under federal copyright law”, but adds that the “music streaming services have repeatedly refused to take or honor a license”.
Added PMR: “Instead, they have continued to perform the copyrighted musical works of Pro Music Rights songwriter, composer and music publisher members for the entertainment of their listeners without obtaining permission to do so”.
You can read the 10 lawsuits in full below:
“Each of the music streaming services sued has made a business decision to use music without compensating songwriters.”
Jake P. Noch, Pro Music Rights
Pro Music Rights CEO Jake P. Noch said: “Each of the music streaming services sued has made a business decision to use music without compensating songwriters.
“By filing these actions, Pro Music Rights is standing up for songwriters whose creative works bring great value to all streaming services who publicly perform their music.
“Pro Music Rights will not give up the fight, no matter how long it wages.”Music Business Worldwide
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