Spotify may be at the top of the ever-growing music streaming pile, but even they aren’t completely invincible.
Billboard reports that the music streaming giant is the target of a $150 million class-action lawsuit started by Cracker frontman David Lowery, who claims that Spotify “knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted compositions without obtaining mechanical licenses.” Sources state that the music streaming service has a reserve of $17-$25 million set aside for artist royalties, but failed to shell the money out, cutting artists out of the financial equation entirely.
In a statement, Spotify’s global head of communications Jonathan Price says that “”We are committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny…Unfortunately, especially in the United States, the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rightsholders is often missing, wrong, or incomplete. When rightsholders are not immediately clear, we set aside the royalties we owe until we are able to confirm their identities.”
The class-action suit was filed December 28. What this means for Spotify in the future remains to be seen.