Apple Gets Sued Over Unpaid Independent Artist Royalties
Many streaming music services pride themselves on how much they pay for artist royalties but now, Apple has been hit with a lawsuit over unpaid royalties for independent artists.
According to a report from Billboard, lawyer Richard Garbarini filed a putative class-action lawsuit against Apple Music on behalf of songwriter Bryan Eich. The songwriter is asking for $30,000 for each song Apple allegedly infringed. The lawsuit claims Apple failed to license mechanical rights—the rights to reproduce and distribute copyrighted songs—for the compositions it played.
While the outline of the case isn't new—Spotify, Rhapsody, Tidal, Slacker and Google Play have been hit with similar class-action suits before—it's the first time such a lawsuit has been filed against Apple. Other streaming services have said they can't always find or identify publishing rights holders but in those cases, distributors can file Notices of Intent — something Apple allegedly didn't do for Eich's songs.
Apple has had some issues with other artists in the past. In November, Danny Brown teased his Live at the Majestic documentary, saying the film would hit Apple Music on Nov. 7. But when the date came around, the film was never released. While Apple didn't release a statement on the film, Brown told fans "it's not coming out" and said, "They gave me a L .... a by 20 blowout!!! Lol"
Apple has yet to respond to its latest lawsuit.
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