13 May 2022CopyrightAlex Baldwin

Snapchat ‘refuses’ to pay musicians, claims Swiss licensor

Snap, the owner of social media platform Snapchat, has been sued by a Swiss music licensing company for allegedly not paying compensation to musicians despite “repeated” attempts to strike a licensing deal.

S UISA (the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers in Switzerland) announced that it was suing the social media giant for infringing its copyrights in the Hamburg District Court Thursday, May 12.

The company represents authors and publishers of music in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, with a portfolio of more than 80,000 songwriters, composers and publishers, comprising approximately 10 million songs.

It claims to have licence agreements in place with more than 80 digital music providers.

The company said: “Snap has refused to pay for the music it uses on Snapchat. SUISA Digital’s attempts to negotiate with Snap have been unsuccessful. Snap’s stance is that it does not use any songs from SUISA Digital’s repertoire. This statement is false.

“[A] large number of works in SUISA Digital’s repertoire is available on the Snapchat platform and is used by users without Snap having acquired a licence from SUISA Digital.”

According to SUISA, it seeks to ensure that the authors and publishers it represents are “adequately compensated” for the “illegal” use of their work by Snapchat.

The company also demands that Snapchat “fully disclose” internal figures “relating to its uses and to the turnover realized with its music offers.

Fabian Niggemeier, CEO of SUISA Digital said: “SUISA Digital is using all of the resources at its disposal to defend the interests of authors and publishers it represents and is taking resolute action against the illegal use of music. This is the only way we can effectively represent the interests of authors and publishers and ensure that they are compensated fairly by Snap.”

SUISA is represented by German law firm Lausen Rechtsanwälte.

The video-sharing platform recently sued the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in an attempt to overturn a decision from the office that refused a trademark for the word ‘Spectacles’.

Snap company filed the complaint at the US District Court for the Central District of California, on January 5, arguing that the office had erred in finding that ‘spectacles’ was too generic in November.

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