The battle against Spotify just intensified massively as now, more than a hundred notable musicians, including Tom Petty, Kenny Rogers, the Black Keys and Zach De La Rocha have filed legal paperwork to force the music streaming service to pay them a fair royalty rate.


Last week, Spotify attorneys decided that the reproductive mechanical license doesn’t apply to streaming services meaning the previously derisory rate paid to artists was now zero but thankfully, National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) CEO David Israelite challenged this.

The NMPA represents all of the major music publishers including Universal Publishing Music Group, Warner/Chappell and Sony/ATV and you can see CEO Israelite’s response to Spotify’s decision right here.

As well as the artists mentioned above, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, David Cassidy, the heirs of Sony Bono, Kim Gordon and actor Anthony Hopkins, who moonlights in classical composition, are also on the list.

You can read the legal paperwork the artists have filed on Digital Music News right here.

This case is potentially worth billions and could well bring about the complete downfall of Spotify who have been knowingly ripping off musicians for some years now. At the root of the situation is a recently-drafted, $43million settlement over unpaid mechanicals.

This was actually signed before Spotify decided that the entire mechanical license somehow did not apply to them and now the overwhelming sentiment is that $43million is an insult.

According to the plaintiffs, after legal fees, the entire group of writers and publishers have $28.7million left over and after dividing that by over 7.5 million potential claimants, and the per-award fee is around $3.84.

Digital Music News say that “in the unlikely event that the agreement stands, none of the musicians will buy into the settlement. Instead, they’ll pursue separate claims, with damages reaching $150,000 per infringed work”.

In July, Bluewater Music Services and Bob Gaudio filed their own lawsuits, with damages approaching $365million. This led to Spotify’s eventual decision to challenge the entire license itself.

We are urging all music fans to boycott Spotify and not use Spotify’s ‘services’ until this matter is resolved as their business model is effectively based on blatant theft from the artists who create the music we love.

We will be watching developments on this matter closely and keeping you up to date. In the meantime, please help keep music alive by not using Spotify.

Sleeve Notes

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