Judge Denies Spotify Motion That Would Have Upended Songwriter, Music Publisher Payments

Spotify legalIn an important ruling that would have changed payments to songwriters and music publishers, a judge has denied a motion from Spotify that claimed that it didn’t need to license tracks from publishers because they are more like online radio streams than downloads.

Although the denial of the “motion for a more definite statement” means the case can proceed as is, reports Billboard, it does not prevent the company’s attorneys from continuing to use that argument.

If Spotify’s new legal argument had prevailed, streams on Spotify would be treated and paid for like net radio.That means that Spotify never needed to get mechanical licenses for any songs in the first place. Instead, music streamers would only need blanket licensing through a performing rights organization like SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.