Sacramento Intellectual Property Law Blog

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This is the digital age, and many people here in California and elsewhere prefer to purchase, view and store their entertainment electronically. For this reason, music-streaming services such as Spotify are widely popular these days. The problem is that entertainment companies claim that this service routinely violates copyright law.

One of the most recent companies to make accusations against Spotify is Sosa Entertainment. The company claims the music streaming service has failed to pay agreed upon royalties on more than half a billion of its music streams. The trouble began in 2017 when Spotify removed the company’s music catalog for alleged “illegitimate” activity. Sosa claims those allegations were false, and Spotify’s actions damaged the company’s relationship with a global digital rights agency called Merlin.

The hip-hop label’s lawsuit is the first to accuse Spotify not only of violating copyright law, but also of deceptive and unfair practices designed to avoid paying royalties to the artists, record labels and others with which it does business. Sosa and its fellow plaintiffs say they are willing to stay in this fight for the long haul in order to force Spotify to honor its agreements. This is an important statement since Sosa and others have accused Spotify of dragging out litigation long enough for the other side to run out of money.

Sosa’s troubles with Spotify are nothing new in the music industry. Copyright law violations have gone on for decades. The internet has only increased the problem since the music is readily available through streaming services like Spotify and other mediums often without the permission of the artists or their record labels. California musicians need to remain vigilant in order to protect their works and receive the compensation they deserve for their copyrighted material.

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