Saturday 17 March 2018

Ministry of Sound suing Spotify for copyright infringement

SPOTIFY is continuing to attract the ire of music heavyweights with dance music brand Ministry of Sound suing the music streaming service for copyright infringement.

Ministry of Sound are claiming that Spotify has refused to delete playlists that closely resemble their compilation albums. These playlists, some of which have the words ‘Ministry of Sound’ in the title, have been created by Spotify’s users, and not by the company itself.


Proceedings have now been launched in the UK High Court, with the dance music record label seeking an injunction requiring Spotify to permanently block such playlists and pay Ministry of Sound compensation.


Speaking to The Guardian, Ministry of Sound chief executive Lohan Presencer said that the music service had been “incredibly frustrating”: “we think it's been very clear what we're arguing, but there has been a brick wall from Spotify.”


Central to the case will be whether compilation albums qualify for copyright infringement protection, simply for being selected and ordered. Presencer has said that what his company does “is a lot more than putting playlists together”:


“A lot of research goes into creating our compilation albums, and the intellectual property involved in that. It's not appropriate for someone to just cut and paste them,” Presencer told The Guardian.


Whilst Spotify does pay licensing fees to content owners, it does not pay those who compile third-party content. Compilations by the Ministry of Sounds includes music from many different labels, but they dance label have not been granted the rights to stream those albums.


Spotify’s 24 million users (6m of which are paying subscribers) have created more than 1bn playlists, and alongside new features such as Browse and Discover, form part of the company’s attempt to broaden their appeal to users.

Independent News Service

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