Ministry of Sound sues Spotify for copyright infringement

The British music label “Ministry of Sound” specializing in the distribution of music compilations sued Spotify, a commercial music streaming service which allows users to legally access a vast number of music albums and single tracks and which also allows user to create and share playlists on the most important social networks. The electronic music brand was unhappy about track collections that copy its own CD running orders, with some users even using the Ministry name in their titles. As of 2012, Ministry of Sound repeatedly requested Spotify to remove these track collections but without a positive result. Furthermore, users also have used the Ministry of Sound logo without authorization which represents a potential trademark infringement. Currently the dispute concerns only the United Kingdom but this issue is likely to also have some repercussions in Italy where Spotify is currently at the forefront of the country’s revolution of the music industry. Unfortunately, the Italian legislation does not provide for a clear interpretation of treatment of playlists. However, these could be considered to fall within the definition of “collective work” where independent works are assembled into one and where copyright owners have exclusive rights on their respective tracks independently form the copyright of the creator of the “collective work”. In anticipation of the ruling of the High Court of Justice, perhaps the time has come to consider how the music industry will apply the law governing authors’ rights; a law that was primarily developed to regulate competition between businessmen and without a doubt fails to limit or control global digital user activity which, as technology improves, appears to know no limits.

09/13/2013 | Copyright