The streaming music world is crazy complicated. Yes, artists get paid, but it’s not as much if they sold you an album. That’s why Taylor Swift has gone rogue and pulled her tracks from Spotify. And, it’s about to get even more complicated thanks to a new lawsuit.
As reported by Gigaom, a lawsuit filed Zenbu Magazines LLC could potentially end with a lot of pre-1972 songs disappearing from your favorite streaming music service. The lawsuit contends that performers on songs should be paid royalties. Traditionally, only song writers received royalties from songs. Performers are generally paid upfront for their contribution to an album.
According to the lawsuit, Apple’s Beats Music service owes at least $5 million to these performers.
Gigaom argues that if the lawsuit proves successful, many streaming services could pull the pre-1972 songs instead of paying additional royalties.
Update January 27: Rdio has been removed from the lawsuit brought by Zenbu Magazines LLC. An Rdio spokesperson told TNW, “We’re pleased the lawsuit was dismissed. Rdio respects copyright and is committed to compensating artists for their creative works and pays royalties for all songs we offer.”