What Did Spotify Know and When Did They Know It?

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Kiss me once, then once more.
What a dunce I was before.
How long has this been going on?

From How Long Has This Been Going On?
Music by George Gershwin, Lyric by Ira Gershwin from Funny Face

If you have been following the separate class actions for songwriter royalties brought against Spotify by David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick, a question might have occurred to you as it has to me:  How long has Spotify known about its songwriter royalty problem?

Given reports that as much 25% of Spotify’s music offering is unlicensed, surely this didn’t happen the week before the first class action was filed.  That’s millions of songs and that kind of mistake takes some time to get to scale.

Thinking back, I remembered the meetings that Spotify hosted in October 2014 as part of its artist outreach campaign.  Those meetings were held in New York, Nashville and…

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