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Spotify, Amazon, Google open legal battle to appeal significant royalty increase for songwriters

Apple Music is the only streaming service not to contest it...

The US Copyright Board (CRB) ruled last month there should be an increase in music royalties for songwriters and publishers - Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora have all appealed against this decision.

The tech giants are looking to stop the proposed increase in songwriter royalties from on-demand streaming from 10.5 percent to 15.1 percent in the US over a five-year period, a 44% increase. Each filed their own appeal, with Apple Music the only streaming service not to contest it.

Causing obvious outroar amongst publishers and songwriters, David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association, was reported in Music Business Worldwide as calling it a move to “sue songwriters”, adding: “No amount of insincere and hollow public relations gestures such as throwing parties or buying billboards of congratulations or naming songwriters ‘geniuses’ can hide the fact that these big tech bullies do not respect or value the songwriters who make their businesses possible.”

Spotify have responded with a blog post of their own. In it they justify their actions by saying that it will “hurt consumers”. Israelite has responded to this in turn.

Google, Pandora and Spotify also released a joint statement saying:

“The Copyright Royalty Board, in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns.

“If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision."

Wondering how much streaming accounted for music industry revenue in 2018? Find out here.