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This article was published on January 23, 2015

    Apple, Rdio and others are targets of pre-1972 songs lawsuit

    Apple, Rdio and others are targets of pre-1972 songs lawsuit
    Roberto Baldwin
    Story by

    Roberto Baldwin

    Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015. Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015.

    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.”

    ➤ Apple is latest target in legal shakedown over pre-1972 songs [Gigaom]