10 December 2018Copyright

Spotify sued for copyright infringement after using Mötley Crüe photo

An American photographer is suing Spotify for copyright infringement after the streaming service allegedly used his work without permission.

Neil Zlozower filed the suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday, December 7.

Spotify allegedly used Zlozower’s photograph of American rock band Mötley Crüe for the group’s artist page on the streaming service’s web player without permission before November 2018. According to the suit, Spotify never obtained a licence to reproduce or use the photograph for any purpose.

Zlozower alleged that the infringement is wilful and that he is entitled to profits obtained from the unlicensed use of his work.

Spotify has been embroiled in a number of high-profile copyright infringement lawsuits recently. In May this year, class action lawsuits filed by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick resulted in a settlement including a $43.5 million cash payment.
Zlozower’s photographs have been widely used in media, featuring on the covers of Guitar Player, Kerrang! and Rolling Stone magazines. He has photographed numerous artists including David Bowie, Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones, Rory Gallagher and Bruce Springsteen. He has published five collections of his work.

According to Bloomberg, Zlozower has previously sued Mötley Crüe themselves for the unlicensed use of his photographs of the band. He alleged that the group had used the images on tour merchandise.

He is seeking either damages and any profits attributable to the use of his photograph, or statutory damages of up to $150,000, as well as costs.

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