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Spotify’s Eminem publisher battle continues as a US judge orders Daniel Ek’s ouster

US Judge Jeffery S. Frensley has ordered Spotify CEO Daniel EK to testify in a case brought against the streaming company in 2019 by a publisher called Eight Mile Style.

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In August 2019, Eight Mile Style claimed copyright infringement of hundreds of Eminem’s songs, which were streamed billions of times through the service.

The publisher — with whom Eminem is not actively affiliated — claimed Spotify doesn’t have licenses for nearly 250 Eminem songs he represents, including hits like Lose Yourself.

In Eight Mile Style’s complaint, the company stated, “Spotify didn’t bill Eight Mile or pay Eight Mile for these streams, but instead sent some sort of random payments that only purported to account for a fraction of those streams.”

The publisher also claimed that Spotify categorized songs including the hit single lose yourself written for the film Eight Mile, under the Copyright Control label, used for songs where the copyright holder is unknown.

The statutory damages sought by Eight Mile Style are $150,000 for each of the 243 songs, or a total of $36.45 million.

It also accused Spotify of failing to comply with certain sections of the Music Modernization Act.

Judge Jeffery S. Frensley’s decision comes after Spotify filed a motion for a protective order barring Ek from testifying in the case.

According to the filing outlining Judge Frensley’s decision, “Spotify contends that Eight Mile should not be allowed to depose Mr. Ek for the additional reason that the requested information could be obtained from other witnesses already available to Spotify.” made available or which Spotify has agreed to make available upon reasonable request”.

Additionally, according to the ruling, Spotify argues that such a protective order is “justified” because Ek has “no personal knowledge of the issues in this case.”

It adds that removing Ek “would result in annoyance, harassment and undue burden and expense and that testimony on the issues identified by plaintiffs is available from other witnesses.”

According to the filing, Spotify has suggested a number of former and current SPOT employees who it says “may be able to provide the information Eight Mile Style requires.”

These individuals include former Global Head of Publishing Adam Parness, Lisa Selden (current Global Head of Publishing Operations), Lucy Bridgwood (Associate General Counsel for Global Publishing Licensing), Donny Kanner (a program manager in Publishing Operations), and “notably” former Head of Licensing Business Affairs, James Duffett-Smith.

“The issue of proper licensing relationships with the artists, whose work encompasses Spotify’s entire business and its sole product, is certainly an important issue for Spotify as well, worthy of some of Mr. Ek’s time and attention.”

Judge Jeffery S Frensley

In his ruling, Judge Jeffery S. Frensley denies Spotify’s motion to dismiss Ek’s testimony, also saying it can be done remotely.

Judge Frensley writes, “The court tends to agree with the plaintiffs that ‘Mr. Ek’s whole argument for exposure is essentially that he’s busy.’”

He adds: “Due to the passage of time, the year-end financial reports and related February meetings have passed, along with the scheduled March events.

“There is no doubt that Mr Ek also has a busy schedule at the moment; the court credits Spotify’s claim that he is indeed very busy. Still, the issue of proper licensing relationships with the artists, whose work encompasses Spotify’s entire business and its sole product, is certainly also a matter for Spotify, which deserves some of Mr Ek’s time and attention.”

Judge Frensley concludes: “In recognition of the fact that Mr Ek has denied having personal knowledge of many areas of potential investigations, and to minimize the likely annoyance to Mr Ek and disruption to his schedule, the plaintiffs can testify from Mr. Ek .ek remotely only for a maximum of three hours.”music business worldwide

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/spotifys-eminem-publisher-dispute-continues-as-us-judge-orders-daniel-ek-deposition/ Spotify’s Eminem publisher battle continues as a US judge orders Daniel Ek’s ouster

Fry Electronics Team

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