Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon have teamed up to appeal a controversial ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that, if it goes through, would increase payouts to songwriters by 44%, Variety has learned.
A joint statement from the first three of those companies reads: “The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision.”
The four companies all filed with the court separately. Sources say that Apple Music is alone among the major streaming services is not planning to appeal — as confirmed by songwriters’ orgs rushing to heap praise on Apple while condemning the seemingly unified front of the other digital companies. David Israelite, president/CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association, had previously said that the digital companies would be “declaring war” on the songwriting community if they appealed the royalty increase. He sounded ready for combat after learning the digital services had indeed filed an appeal. Read more