HITS Daily Double


Spotify has been hit with a class-action suit in California’s Central District Court, spearheaded by musician and educator David Lowery. The case seeks a minimum of $150 million for the allegedly unlicensed use of copyrighted compositions. According to the claim, filed on 12/28, the streaming giant has neither sought out the rights owners for these recordings nor declared its intention to use a compulsory license.

What’s more, the suit alleges, Spotify has amassed as much as $25m in reserve for upcoming royalty payments—and kept that money out of the hands of creators. Penalties, per statute, could amount to as much as $150k per song. Injunctive relief is also sought, requiring Spotify to cease streaming all unlicensed material.

Lowery, best known as frontman/lead songwriter of the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, a lecturer at the University of Georgia and a frequent commentator on the economics of digital music, is represented in the case by Michelman & Robinson LLP.

The suit qualifies as a class action, the plaintiffs allege, due to the number of creators potentially affected.