If you haven’t been paying attention, Spotify recently settled a lawsuit over unpaid mechanical royalties to songwriters. The suit maintained that the company didn’t have the license to play some of the music available, while Spotify claimed that it didn’t have the information to adequately disburse the payments. Instead of fighting the lawsuit in court, the streaming service decided to settle instead for an amount of $43.5 million. After all, pending court action of this type wouldn’t look good for a company about to go public. If you think you’re owed money and would like to submit a claim, here’s how to do it (courtesy of Digital Music News):
To be included in the Settlement, you must be a member of the Settlement Class. To be in the Settlement Class, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- You’re the owner of a copyright of a musical composition that Spotify made available for interactive streaming and/or limited downloading between December 28th, 2012 and June 29th, 2017.
- You contend that Spotify made your musical composition available without a license.
- You or someone else applied for and received a certificate of registration from the US Copyright Office for the musical composition on or before June 29th, 2017.
The following people will remain excluded from the settlement payment.
- Spotify, or one of its affiliates, employees, and counsel.
- A federal, state, or local government entity.
- A member of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and/or a party to a ‘Participating Publisher Pending and Unmatched Usage Agreement’ between Spotify and the NMPA.
- Someone who agreed not to bring a claim against the company in this class action lawsuit.
If you believe you are a qualifying member of the Settlement Class, you must fully complete and timely submit a valid claim form to the Settlement Administrator, Garden City Group LLC. You can complete and submit claim forms at www.SpotifyPublishingSettlement.com.
The big thing here is that you must be an indie songwriter not affiliated with a publisher that’s a member of the NMPA. The good news is that this is a pool of money that DIY songwriters can easily get a piece of, however small it might be. Happy settlement!