4 March 2016Copyright

Google accused of ‘dumping’ music onto streaming service

Google Play Music is the latest streaming service to face a class action lawsuit, following claims it is “dumping” recordings onto its platform without permission from right owners.

The lawsuit, filed by Yesh Music, accuses Google of not issuing notices of intent (NOIs) to musicians to use their works before reproducing them on the service.

Yesh argued that Google’s failure to issue NOIs is widespread and has particularly harmed independent musicians and deprived them of royalties. It is seeking class action status for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed on March 1 at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Yesh also filed a similar claim against music service Tidal last month, while musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick filed claims against Spotify.

All three parties are also seeking class action status for their claims.

The Google Play Music service contains 38 million musical recordings. For $9.99 per month users can have unrestricted access to the works.

“Defendant created its now 38 million track library by dumping all of the music from independent artists into the Google Play Music service without serving NOIs. Independent artists are predominantly impacted by defendant’s systematic infringement,” Yesh claimed in its complaint.

Under US law, works that are protected under mechanical licences can be reproduced by parties if they issue an NOI to the right owner within 30 days of reproducing the work.

In exchange, copyright owners receive a fee.

Yesh added: “This action is necessary to protect the property rights of plaintiffs and all other similarly situated holders of the publishing rights who have been damaged due to defendant’s calculated and unlawful infringement.”

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