Apple Job Listing and Unpaid Songwriters: Spotify Fixes Blame While Apple Fixes Problem

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Apple Music job listing: fixing the problem not fixing the blame

As reported by the Wall Street Journal and here at The Trichordist, streaming services appear to have a vast pool of unlicensed songs (mass copyright infringement) and as much as 150 million dollars in unpaid songwriter royalties.

Above is a job posting from Apple.  It appears that this is a proactive move to address the problem of unpaid/unlicensed songwriters at the streaming services. It is after all Apples obligation to license songs and pay songwriters.  It is not songwriters and publishers that are supposed to be chasing down their royalties and licenses.

Meanwhile Spotify continues its propaganda campaign which attempts to blame the victims.  Here is Spotify’s head of global communications on the problem.

“We want to pay every [fraction of a] penny, but we need to know who to pay,” Prince said. “The industry needs to come together and develop an approach to publishing rights based on transparency and accountability.”

The industry needs to come together to fix your problem?  By industry you mean songwriters? No, I don’t think so.  Songwriters don’t need to be burdened with more overhead in order to collect their royalties.  That’s essentially a tax on creators to fix your problem.  You chose to go into the streaming business.  Songwriters didn’t force you.  This is a database problem that could be easily fixed by Spotify when they “ingest” songs.  Require publishing information at that point or do not make available!  Problem solved.  Invoice is in the mail.

Anyway look at how absurd this is.   Isn’t Spotify in the technology business?  Isn’t it Spotify that should have the expertise to fix this problem? Asking songwriters to fix a Spotify database issue is like calling the plumber to do brain surgery.

About David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.