Here’s a recap of my article’s this month:
The most talked-about topic in the music legal world this month was certainly the copyright infringement case where band Spirit is sued Led Zeppelin over allegations that “Stairway to Heaven” infringed on Spirit’s song “Taurus.” The good news is that Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial!
Here’s a recap of the week’s trial coverage:
What was also exciting is the recent push by artists to urge online content providers like YouTube to #valuemusic. This call to action also involves the request to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which allows safe harbor provisions for YouTube and other online content providers.
In other news, those on the other side of the spectrum are filing lawsuits to force certain musical compositions into the public domain so that they don’t have to pay the license fees for them. This is one of a few lawsuits to follow the “Happy Birthday” case. This is certainly not a way to #valuemusic.
I talk about the numbers.
By: Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.
I often am asked for my thoughts on Spotify and whether artists need it.
Adele and Taylor Swift are not on Spotify and sell millions of albums. These artists are already big enough that they will sell albums regardless of whether they are on Spotify. Spotify streams actually compete with these artists’ sales because there are many people who will stream the album instead of buying it and the royalty rates for streaming are much smaller than what an artist of this caliber will earn from a record sale. An artist would have to have the album streamed many more times than purchased to earn the same amount of money in royalties.For independent artists, Spotify can be a promotional tool — another distribution channel for new fans to discover your music. Again, it’s not about the money earned from streams, as for most indie artists that is even less than what established artists earn. The hope is that once these new fans discover the indie artists, they will sign up on their email lists, go to their shows, buy merchandise, etc. and money can be earned that way.
While indies probably won’t earn money from Spotify, if it helps them gain new fans then it may be worth it. If you can be found without Spotify and streams will actually compete with your album sales, then it might not be worth it.
Have questions on how Spotify relates to your career? Contact Erin to book a consultation now.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The content contained in this article is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific matter or matters. This article does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. and you or any other user. The law may vary based on the facts or particular circumstances or the law in your state. You should not rely on, act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking the professional counsel of an attorney licensed in your state.
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