Spotify Sued by Eminem’s Publisher for Copyright Infringement

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated September 24, 2021

Eight Mile Style label suing Spotify accusing it of blatant copyright infringement based on the unauthorized and unlicensed streaming of 243 of Eminem’s songs including “Lose Yourself”. The lawsuit is asking for damage compensation of $36.45 million, as Spotify has enabled the illicit streaming of Eminem’s songs for billions of times. As the record label points out, Spotify has paid them some “random” amounts for streaming Eminem’s work as they are required by law, but these amounts only represent a tiny fraction of what they should have paid them if they were realistic about it.

Moreover, the lawsuit accuses Spotify of being purposefully ignoring their very existence, as they have placed “Lose Yourself” under a category that entails copyrighted material whose owner is unknown. Admittedly, one cannot pretend to act as if they don’t know who Eight Mile Style is, the label who sued Apple a decade ago, and also went after the New Zealand National Party when they used a song that was very similar to the sound of “Lose Yourself”. As we saw earlier in the year, that case was finally deflated by the country’s supreme court.

This time, the court is a U.S. District Court in Tennessee, and their job will be much harder as they’ll have to deal with the legal complexities that arise from the context of the Music Modernization Act. The stake for the plaintiff’s lawyers now will be to prove the exact way through which Spotify benefited from not securing streaming licenses and not paying the fair dividends. Finally, they will also have to convince the court that Spotify, like others in the streaming industry, knew exactly what they were doing by relying on unconstitutional legal provisions that act against the interest of the creators who want to protect their work.

In the same time, Spotify has been feeling the market pressure from rising rivals like Apple Music, so they have just announced that they will extend their free trial period from the current 30 days to 90 days. No decisions to change the Premium account cost were taken this time, so the price remains at $9.99/month. Only a few days ago, they also rolled out a new “Family Plan” that will help fight account sharing among people who live in the same residence, with the new offer covering up to six individuals for $15 per month.

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