US singer-songwriter and musician’s rights advocate, David Lowery, who fronted alternative rock acts Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, has filed a proposed class action suit against Swedish music streaming giant Spotify, claiming that it uses lesser-known artists’ material without paying them royalties.
Lowery alleges that Spotify failed to pay him mechanical royalties, which are owed to a songwriter or publisher every time their song or a version of it is downloaded or streamed online.
In the suit, Lowery listed four of his songs that he claimed were covered and used on Spotify without his permission.
“This lawsuit seeks to hold Spotify accountable and protect the artists’ rights against copyright infringement,” said Lowery.
“Spotify has a business model in which they use artists’ music on their website without identifying the license holder and without paying them royalties,” said Mona Hanna, a lead attorney in the case.
When reached for comment a company spokesman told the AFP that Spotify is “committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny. Unfortunately, especially in the United States, the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rights-holders is often missing, wrong or incomplete.”
In late 2014, Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from the online streaming platform following the release of her album 1989. Veteran Canadian rocker, Neil Young removed his catalog from streaming services due to the poor sound quality offered by them.