Monday, March 25, 2019

Last call for the European Copyright Directive as Parliament prepares to vote

By Emmanuel Legrand

On Tuesday March 26 at 12:30pm, Brussels time, members of the European Parliament will cast their vote on the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market, one of the most controversial and contentious piece of legislation in recent times that has been debated for over three years. The Directive will introduce a new framework for creators and content users that has the support of the former but was met with fierce opposition from the latter.

  The days prior to the vote saw last minute attempts to convince MEPs to vote one way or the other on the compromise text that came out from the trilogue process and endorsed by the Parliament's Legal Affairs committee (JURI) last month. Opponents to the legislation ramped up their campaigns online but also through demonstrations, with Article 13 on the liability of ISPs for user-generated content as their main bone of contention. They argued that under the proposed rules, online platforms would be required to sign licensing deals with rights owners to use their work online, and be at the mercy of those who they could not identify.


  "Article 13 could impact a large number of platforms, big and small, many of them European," wrote Google senior vice-president for global affairs Kent Walker in a blogpost. "Some may not be able to bear these risks."


  On March 23, thousands took it to the streets to protest against the bill, mostly in Germany, Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal, according to AFP. In Germany alone, 40 rallies took place, with 40,000 protesters in Munich and 10,000 in Berlin, according to the police, chanting 'Save our internet' and 'We are not bots'.


Dangerous experiments

  A coalition of more than 130 European companies, mostly from the tech sector, have argued in a letter to policy-makers that Article 13 was a "dangerous experiment with the core foundation of the Internet’s ecosystem." They also disagree with the intents and purposes of Article 11, which introduces a "neighbouring right" for news producers. "The text of the trilogue agreement would harm the European economy and seriously undermine the ability of European businesses to compete with big Internet giants like Google," they wrote.


  Business Insider reported that RedditWikipedia, and Pornhub (!) have protested against the Directive, with Wikipedia denying access to its German, Czech, Slovakian, and Danish pages for 24 hours on March 21. Meanwhile, Reddit and Pornhub have displayed windows "asking users to lobby lawmakers in European Parliament." All three have included links to the #SaveYourInternet campaign, which has gathered over 5 million signatures. 


  Meanwhile supporters of the bill praised the Directive's attempts to fix the "value gap" and offer fair remuneration for creators. Creators from all around Europe took the lead in supporting the Directive. Europe For Creators, which regroups most organisations representing creators and creative industries, urged MEPs to vote for the legislation as a whole. "Any amendment would mean breaking the trilogue agreement, leaving no time to reconsider a new text before the European elections, and leaving European citizens, businesses and the creative sector adrift in the Digital Single Market," the group said.


  The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) disclosed an open letter sent to Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council who were asked "to adopt the EU copyright directive and thus lay the foundation of a fairer environment for millions of creators worldwide."


  The letter – signed by CISAC President, electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, and its four Vice-Presidents, singer and songwriter Angelique Kidjo (Benin), film directors Marcelo Pi├▒eyro (Argentina) and Jia Zhang-ke (China) and visual artist Miquel Barcel├│ (Spain) – explains that the current text of the Directive "lays down essential principles that will help creators of all repertoires achieve fairer remuneration for their works in the digital market. For the first time, it would clarify that commercial user upload platforms that make use of musical, visual, audiovisual, literary and other works are subject to copyright laws and need to be licensed by the creators of those works."


Once in a decade opportunity

  A coalition of organisations representing authors, led by the  European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), the European Writers’ Council, the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), and the Federation of Screenwriters Europe, urged policy-makers "to seize this once in a decade opportunity and support the successful adoption of the Copyright Directive."


  They wrote: "Abandoning the Directive now would be a major victory for the major international players who ignore the damage caused to the creative industries by their dominant position and refuse the harmonisation and inclusion of basic standards of transparency and fairness in EU copyright legislation. This Directive concerns the future of Europe’s cultures. The European Parliament played a key role in the negotiations ensuring future generations’ access to freedom of expression. Please – adopt the Directive and send a strong signal to the future generations who want to write, compose, create so that they can be fairly remunerated."


  In an op-ed titled 'The Beauty In The Beast' published by Music Week, representatives from organisations representing artists, authors, composers, music managers, independent labels and publishers wanted to debunk the "myth that this Directive is only about big corporate interests," stating that "nothing could be further from the truth." In fact, they argued, the Directive is "really about the artists and composers you haven’t heard of yet." The signatories reported that MEPs have been pressured "to sign a pledge that they will oppose Article 13 otherwise citizens will be told not to vote for them."


The art of compromise

  They also claimed that MEPs received a message entitled “Next week your biography on Wikipedia will change” with following message: “We will just see to it that anyone searching for you on Google will find out immediately if you vote for or against the freedom of the World Wide Web. They will find out when they make up their minds on 23-26 May; they will find out later in your career, whatever you do and wherever you go."


  "Is that the kind of democracy we want?," asked the signatories, which include the Council of Music Makers (CMM), Paul Pacifico, CEO of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Alfons Karabuda, President of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), Nacho Garcia Vega, President of the International Artist Organisation of Music (IAO), Per Kviman, Chair, European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA), Pierre Mossiat, President, Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) and Helen Smith, Executive Chair, Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA).


  "The text we have on the table is the result of years of work -- thousands of hours of discussions, hundreds of amendments, numerous votes.  The final work is down to the fine art of democratic compromise... It is the beauty of the beast," they explained, concluding: "It’s time to be proud of Europe leading the way. Time to say yes to copyright reform."


  The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) called on MEPs to support Europe’s authors. "It is an important first step to ensure European audiovisual authors’ fair and proportionate remuneration. Without it, there can be no sustainable future for European audiovisual creation," they wrote.


Ensure fair remuneration

  On the eve of the vote, the three organisations released a survey on European audiovisual authors’ remuneration showing that the median earnings of a European director or screenwriter from their work as an audiovisual author was about €19,000 after tax in 2016. The Europe-wide survey also showed that younger authors earn considerably less, as do older authors, and that women authors earn significantly less than men.


  It also revealed that secondary payments for the exploitation of their works, in particular online, "are irregular and not harmonised at EU-level." For the three organisations, the results of the survey "demonstrate the urgent need for action to improve their situation." 


  Part of the solution, they claimed, was in Chapter 3 of the proposed Directive, which deals with fair remuneration for authors and performers. "[Chapter 3] was strengthened during inter-institutional negotiations, and now presents an important improvement of EU legislation that provides essential tools to re-balance this situation," they wrote.

  Meanwhile, among the main organisations representing rights holders, the IFPI still has to take a stand on the Directive...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Apple under attack from Spotify for 'anti-competitive' business practices

By Emmanuel Legrand

Apple has dismissed the formal complaint filed by Spotify with the European Commission's Competition Directorate accusing the tech giant "anti-competitive" practices. The music streaming service argued that the tech giant is using unfair measures to favour its own streaming service, in particular by charging a 30% fee for in-app transactions.

  “Apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store,” said Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek in a blogpost. “We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions — including Apple Music.”

  Ek elaborated: "As you are aware, Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and its App Store and a competitor to services like Spotify. In theory, this is fine. But in Apple’s case, they continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn — setting themselves up to be both referee and player in the world of audio streaming. This deliberately hurts Apple’s competitors, like Spotify, but even more importantly, it harms consumers."

Ensure fair competition

  "We’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition," said Ek. Spotify's antitrust complaint could lead to formal investigation into Apple's practices but the Commission hasn't indicated whether it would follow this route. “The Commission has received a complaint by Spotify, which we are assessing under our standard procedures,” said the department led by Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

  Apple responded to Spotify in a combative mode. In an unsigned but strongly worded blogpost, it claimed that Spotify "wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong." Apple said that Spotify was seeking "to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem – including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers – without making any contributions to that marketplace.”

  Apple added, “We share Spotify’s love of music and their vision of sharing it with the world. Where we differ is how you achieve that goal. Underneath the rhetoric, Spotify’s aim is to make more money off others’ work. And it’s not just the App Store that they’re trying to squeeze — it’s also artists, musicians and songwriters. Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. This isn’t just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry.”

Abuse of power?

  The Spotify complaint echoes many others that have been made by publishers and operators of subscription services, complaining about the fees they have to pay Apple. Apple in turn responded that the App Store gives access to more than 1.2 billion consumers and that comes at a cost.

  The European row between Apple and Spotify has certainly resonated on the other side of the Atlantic where Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is running for President, suggested that if elected she would prevent big tech companies to be both platforms and users of these platforms. 

  “Spotify’s complaint is just the latest example of what can happen when these enormous companies abuse their power to undermine competition. We need a level playing field, and that starts by breaking up giant tech companies who both own a marketplace and operate in that same marketplace,” said Warren.

Spotify, NMPA in a war of words over CRB appeal

By Emmanuel Legrand

The row between Spotify and the US music community has reached another level after Spotify published a long document explaining why it had decided to appeal the decision from the Copyright Royalty Board to raise mechanical rates by 44% by 2022 and the subsequent rebuttal by the National Music Publishers Association.

  Spotify has been strongly criticised by the NMPA and songwriters' body SONA for appealing the CRB decision. DavidIsraelite, president and CEO of the NMPA, said the appeal was similar to “suing songwriters.”

  Music publishers such as Sony/ATVWarner/Chappell and Concord Music Publishing have voiced their support to the NMPA. "With this opposition to the CRB’s ruling, we are back on the defensive, but we are ready to represent you and all songwriters. As a result, we are reassessing our day to day interactions with these companies and are seeking your feedback as we take a stand alongside the NMPA," wrote Concord Music Publishing CEO Jake Wisely in a letter to songwriters.

  Spotify tried to set the record straight. In its blogpost titled 'You Might Have Heard about the Streaming Industry’s CRB Appeal—Here’s What You Need to Know', Spotify gave its side of the story. "In the US, the royalty rates for publishing rights for digital music services are determined by a panel of judges, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). The rates also create a reference point for services that don't rely on these government-set rates, and they indirectly influence the ways that publishing license rates work around the world. The CRB recently came to a conclusion about how these rights and rates would work for the next few years. And we appealed the outcome."

Significant flaws

The streaming service went on to list five key points delivered here in full:

  - "Is Spotify suing songwriters? No, Spotify is not suing songwriters. Spotify, Amazon, Google, and Pandora have each individually appealed the CRB outcome. The National Music Publishers’ Association, or NMPA, also filed an appeal. An appeal is the only avenue for anyone to clarify elements of the CRB ruling.

  - "Does Spotify think songwriters deserve to be paid more?Yes – this is important to songwriters and it’s important to Spotify. The industry needs to continue evolving to ensure that the people who create the music we all love — artists and songwriters — can earn a living. The question is how best to achieve that goal.

  - "Do you support the CRB rates? We are supportive of US effective rates rising to 15% between now and 2022 provided they cover the right scope of publishing rights. But the CRB’s 15% rate doesn’t account for all these rights. For example, it doesn’t consider the cost of rights for videos and lyrics.

  - "So why is Spotify appealing? The CRB rate structure is complex and there were significant flaws in how it was set. A key area of focus in our appeal will be the fact that the CRB’s decision makes it very difficult for music services to offer “bundles” of music and non-music offerings. This will hurt consumers who will lose access to them. These bundles are key to attracting first-time music subscribers so we can keep growing the revenue pie for everyone.

  - "So what’s the right way to split the pie? Music services, artists, songwriters and all other rights holders share the same revenue stream, and it’s natural for everyone to want a bigger piece of that pie. But that cannot come at the expense of continuing to grow the industry via streaming. The CRB judges set the new publishing rates by assuming that record labels would react by reducing their licensing rates, but their assumption is incorrect. However, we are willing to support an increase in songwriter royalties provided the license encompasses the right scope of publishing rights."

  Spotify concluded: "We hope this helps explain why we took this step, and what you can expect from Spotify as the industry works together moving forward. These are hard issues but we will listen and be open about what we think. Our mission is clear: we want to help more artists and songwriters make a living doing what they love."

Misleading spin

  NMPA's Israelite wrote in a rebuttal the Spotify statement contained many "lies" and "misleading" points. "Spotify is appealing the decision of the CRB to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in order to reduce or eliminate the royalty rate increases granted to songwriters by the CRB. It’s that simple," wrote Israelite. "Everything else — including Spotify’s attempt to describe its filing as “clarifying elements” of a ruling — is misleading spin."

  He added: "Simple question for Spotify: Do you want to reduce or eliminate the rate increase? If the answer is anything but an unqualified 'no', then all songwriters should see right through Spotify’s attempt to divert and distract. Further, NMPA made clear it would not appeal unless the digital services appealed first. If the digital companies withdraw their appeal, so will NMPA."

  Spotify's wrote that the CRB judges "assumed" that if the mechanical rates would go up, record labels would reduce their royalties rates to make up for the increase. Israelite said this was simply "not true" and that the judges wrote the opposite in their opinion.

  "The truth," said Israelite, "is that unlike songwriters, Spotify and record labels are in a free market. What Spotify pays record labels is negotiated between the parties. How those two parties split the 85% of revenue left over after paying songwriters and publishers their 15% of revenue is irrelevant and has no relationship to the value of the songs to Spotify’s business model. Simple solution: let songwriters and publishers negotiate the value of their copyright the same way that record labels do, but Spotify opposes that."

  He concluded: “This fight has just started.”

>Mark Mulligan from MiDIA Research suggested in a blogpost that Spotify could fix things with songwriters and publishers by increasing its subscription fees, but at the same time rights holders should allow streaming services to have higher margins. "The issue is so complex because both sides are right: songwriters need to be paid more, and streaming services need to increase margin," wrote Mulligan. "Spotify has only ever once turned a profit, while virtually all other streaming services are loss making. The debate will certainly continue long after this latest ruling, but there is a way to mollify both sides: price increases."

  He added: "Rights holders are already eager to see pricing go up, while streaming services fear it would slow growth. Between them, there are enough carrots and sticks in the various components of their collective relationships to make this happen. However – and here’s the crucial part – rights holders would have to construct a framework where streaming services would get a slightly higher margin rate in the additional subscriber fee. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in exactly the same position we are now, with creators, rights holders, and streaming services all needing more."

Monday, March 11, 2019

SCOTUS: copyright owners cannot sue for infringement without formal registration

By Emmanuel Legrand

The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that a formal certificate of registration from the US Copyright Office, and not the application for the registration of a copyright, was a prerequisite for rights holders to file a copyright infringement lawsuit. The ruling in the case Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com clarifies an issue that had split courts.

  Fourth Estate had sued Wall-Street.com after a licensing agreement between the two parties was canceled and Wall-Street.com continued to display Fourth Estate's content. Fourth Estate sued only days after it had filed registration applications for 244 articles. The lower courts dismissed the case, considering that Fourth Estate did not provide proper registration when filing for infringement.


  Fourth Estate petitioned the Supreme Court, asking for clarification as to when "registration has been made" as some courts, in particular the Courts of Appeals for the 5th and 9th Circuits, have accepted in the past copyright infringement cases based on application for registration.


  "We conclude that 'registration has been made' within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. §411(a) not when an application for registration is filed, but when the Register [of Copyrights] has registered a copyright after examining a properly filed application," wrote Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her opinion.


Resolves a circuit court split 

  Reacting to the ruling, Fourth Estate said it "resolved a circuit court split and significant uncertainty over the issue of when registration of a copyright occurs, and when a copyright owner may commence an infringement suit to protect their rights." 

  The ruling is now expected now to put the onus on the Register of Copyrights to accelerate the Copyright Office's modernisation of the registration procedures. "On average, it takes the Copyright Office six months to process a claim," wrote Terry Hart, the VP of legal policy and copyright counsel for Washington, DC-based Copyright Alliance, in a blogpost on the organisation's site. "That average goes up to nine months if a Copyright Office Examiner needs to correspond with a copyright owner. In a world of viral, online infringement, a lot of damage can be done to a copyrighted work while an owner is powerless to stop it.”


  For Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, “This ruling allows administrative backlog to prejudice the timely enforcement of constitutionally based rights and prevents necessary and immediate action against infringement that happens at Internet speed. Given this ruling, the Copyright Office must also work at Internet speed to ensure adequate enforcement protects essential rights.”


  Justice Ginsburg did take this issue into consideration in her opinion, indicating that “delays in Copyright Office processing of applications, it appears, are attributable, in large measure, to staffing and budgetary shortages that Congress can alleviate, but courts cannot cure." She added, "Unfortunate as the current administrative lag may be, that factor does not allow us to revise §411(a)’s [the Copyright Act provision’s] congressionally composed text.”


 Improving the registration process

  Fourth Estate executive director W. Jeffrey Brown said the Supreme Court "also recognised that the statutory scheme for copyright has not worked as Congress originally envisioned as delays prolonged the registration process. Fourth Estate encountered exactly those delays in this case. Fourth Estate calls upon Congress to remedy the long delays currently experienced by copyright owners."


  For rights holders, the consequences are "likely to have two immediate effects,"
according to Ann G. Fort, Robert D. Owen and Anna C. Halsey from law firm Eversheds Sutherland (US): "First, it is likely that copyright holders may be motivated to register their copyrighted works upon creation so that they have the ability to litigate without delay. And second, it is likely that the Copyright Office will have an influx of registrants seeking to take advantage of its 'special handling' option for registration, which expedites registration in the face of pending litigation."


  "Special handling" registrations take only around five business days, but cost $800. "For a litigant hoping to stop an infringer, however, that is a small price to pay to obtain the necessary registration to enforce one’s copyrights," they wrote.


  Stephen Carlisle from Nova Southeastern Universiry analysed the recent decision the the US Supreme Court ruling and noted that "The effect of the ruling is that any lawsuit that is filed without a registration being issued is subject to being immediately dismissed. This will in turn have the effect of instantly denying any request for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. Thus, two valuable litigation tactics to combat rampant infringement have been negated." 
 
  He concluded, "The exercise of your legal rights should not depend on something as mundane, and easy to fix as an underfunded bureaucracy."

NMPA furious at Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora's plan to challenge CRB's mechanical rates

By Emmanuel Legrand

American songwriters and music publishers have described the decision by major streaming services to challenge the mechanical rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) as a "war on the songwriting community." ​Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon ​have filed notices of appeal of ​the decision from the CRB to increase mechanical rates paid by interactive streaming services by 44% by 2022. Apple Music, the second largest streaming service in the US, announced that it was not planning to appeal CRB's decision.

  The CRB made its decision in 2018 following a due process lasting two years. In a 2-1 split, royalty judges agreed to raise mechanical rates from 10.5% of revenue to 15.1% of revenue over four years. David Israelite, president/CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), said then that the 44% increase was a huge victory for songwriters and publishers and warned digital services that an appeal would be considered as “declaring war” on the songwriting community.


  While the four services filed separate notices, Google, Pandora and Spotify explained their position in a joint statement: "The CRB, in a split decision, recently issued the US 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 US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to review the decision."


Bad actors

  The NMPA and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) published a joint statement in which they blast Spotify and Amazon's decision to appeal. Surprisingly, the statement does not mention Google or Pandora. In a podcast with MBW, Israelite said that Google or Pandora did "get a pass" because "it’s fairly clear to us that [Google and Pandora] didn’t want to to appeal, and are only doing so to protect their interests because Spotify and Amazon [objected]."


  Israelite went on to label Spotify and Amazon as "the bad actors." He singled out Apple Music "for accepting the CRB decision and continuing its practice of being a friend to songwriters."


  NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison said Amazon and Spotify's decision to appeal was "unfortunate," pointing out that "many songwriters have found it difficult to stay in the profession in the era of streaming music. You cannot feed a family when you earn hundreds of dollars for millions of streams."


  Herbison added: "Spotify specifically continues to try and depress royalties to songwriters around the globe as illustrated by their recent moves in India. Trying to work together as partners toward a robust future in the digital music era is difficult when any streaming company fails to recognise the value of a songwriter’s contribution to their business.”


Protecting CRB's decision

  For Israelite, the CRB’s final determination "gave songwriters only their second meaningful rate increase in 110 years," but "instead of accepting the CRB’s decision which still values songs less than their fair market value, Spotify and Amazon have declared war on the songwriting community by appealing that decision."


  Israelite invited "every songwriter and every fan of music [to] stand up and take notice." He added: “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."


  The NMPA announced that in view of the streaming services' decision to appeal, it would also file a notice of appeal "to protect CRB's decision."

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Spotify finally reaches India despite a legal challenge from Warner Music Group

By Emmanuel Legrand


Spotify has finally launched Feb. 27 in India, amid a last minute legal challenge by Warner Music Group. The New York-listed music streaming service joins a crowded market with significant potential. The service will be available to Indian consumers through an advertising-supported free tier, and a monthly premium subscription of 119 rupees ($1.67) per month.

  Spotify will compete with international (Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music) and local players, in particular JioSaavn, the result of the merger of JioMusic from conglomerate Reliance Industries, operator of the Jio mobile network, and music start-up Saavn. Other local players include Gaana, backed by Times Media and China's Tencent, and Hungama, powered by entertainment giant Hungama Digital Media Entertainment and backed by Chinese internet services company Xiaomi.

  Spotify's subscription is in the same range as Apple Music's (Rs 120 per month) and Saavn for its Lite version (Rs 120)— Saavn charges Rs 250 for its pro version— while Google Play Music comes at Rs 99 per month. Amazon Music comes as a package with the Amazon Prime subscription of Rs 1000 per year.

 To match the country's language diversity, Spotify’s music recommendation engine is available in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. “Spotify’s arrival in India is a big step forward in our overall global growth strategy. A fundamental piece of that strategy is staying connected to global culture while allowing room for local adaptation, and we’ve certainly achieved that with our India launch,” said Cecilia Qvist, Spotify’s Global Head of Markets.

Legal challenge

  Spotify's launch in India was marred with controversy over the terms of licensing between WMG and the streaming service. Although it had secured licenses with Universal Music Groupand Sony Music Entertainment, Spotify had not reached an agreement with WMG regarding the repertoire owned by its publishing division Warner Chappell. To bypass the lack of license, Spotify said it would use India's statutory license for broadcasters, claiming the rule applicable to broadcasters was also valid for online music services.

  Spotify said Warner “revoked a previously agreed-upon publishing license for reasons wholly unrelated to Spotify’s launch in India." The service added, "This statutory license, which allows for application to internet-based services, prevents WMG’s abusive practices, while ensuring all rights holders are compensated fairly. Under the statutory license, Spotify will pay WCM and their rights holders rates that are in-line with the rates Spotify agreed to pay the leading Indian music entities, ensuring everyone involved will benefit from the new audiences and significant revenue the Indian market will bring. We will continue to assess our options at this stage."

Injunction denied

  WMG said it was left without any other option than going to court. WMG asked the Mumbai High Court to grant an interim injunction to prevent Spotify from launching without the proper license in place, but it was denied by the court. However, the court also ordered Spotify to deposit Rs. 6.5 crore (about $915,500), pending the adjudication of the dispute, which will be heard on March 25.

  Bar and Bench reported that Spotify was also directed to keep a record of the use of Warner/Chappell’s works and all advertisement and subscription revenues.

  Warner welcomed the Court’s decision "to direct Spotify to deposit monies with the Court and to maintain complete records of any use of our music as well as all advertising and subscription revenue earned by Spotify. These are positive steps to protect our songwriters’ interests."