Spotify Settles Two Copyright Infringement Lawsuits With Damages Exceeding $365 Million

In July 2017, prior to the enactment of the Music Modernization Act (MMA), Bluewater Services and songwriter Bob Gaudio filed massive copyright lawsuits against Spotify.

Both cases dealt with a tricky part in music copyright – the mechanical license.

In a massive $365 million copyright infringement lawsuit, Bluewater Music Services Corporation alleged that Spotify willfully infringed on 2,339 copyrighted works.  These include Sam Gay’s ‘10,000 Pieces’ and Bob Morrison’s ‘You’d Make An Angel Want To Cheat.’

Bluewater had reportedly terminated the company’s license to reproduce and stream the works in November of 2016.

Bob Gaudio from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons filed a similar lawsuit.

In short, Spotify streamed their songs without permission.

After checking streamed works dating back to April 2015, Bluewater realized that Spotify hadn’t paid any mechanical royalties.  In fact, the streaming giant hadn’t negotiated a direct mechanical license.

Powerhouse attorney Richard Busch represented Gaudio and Bluewater.

According to Spotify, however, doesn’t apply to the music streaming company (again, this was before the Music Modernization Act codified the streaming mechanical into law).

Spotify’s lawyers wrote,

“‘Streaming’ – by its very definition – cannot infringe upon either the reproduction right under 17 U.S.C. § 106(1) or the distribution right under 17 U.S.C. § 106(3).

The company further defended itself, stating that it didn’t have data to track the compositions or sound recordings.  These included tens of millions of copyrighted works on its platform.

A judge didn’t buy Spotify’s argument.  Last October, a federal court in Tennessee the company’s bid to dismiss both lawsuits.

Now, to avoid paying millions in damages, the streaming music giant has given in.

Spotify finally pays up.

Late last year, the music streaming company a year-long $1.6 billion lawsuit with Wixen Music Publishing.

Like Gaudio and Bluewater, Wixen alleged that Spotify had used tens of thousands of its songs without permission or proper royalty payouts – for years.  Under terms of the undisclosed settlement, both sides reached a “fair and reasonable” deal.

In Tennessee, Spotify has agreed to a joint motion filed to postpone further discovery.  As with Wixen, terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

The move comes ahead of a House of Judiciary Committee hearing investigating copyright laws.  Topics will include unmatched royalties unpaid by Spotify and Apple Music, among other streaming services.

 


 

Surprise! Spotify Hands Over Your Personal Information to Major Labels When You 'Pre-Save'

Spotify’s reputation isn’t exactly in top shape right now.

This year alone, the company with songwriters over much-needed royalty payments, lost , its relationship with Warner/Chappell and Warner Music Group, from top financial firms, from music publishers, European Union law, $159 million in net losses this year so far, and .

Most recently, in a bitter fight against Spotify following its accusations of an ‘App Store monopoly,’ Apple revealed that its rival a commission on 0.5% of its over 100 million subscribers.  Apple’s retort dismisses Spotify’s chief complaint filed in the European Union against its rival.

Now, the music streaming company faces a new controversy — this time, affecting its entire user base.

Have things gotten worse for Spotify?  Yes.  Yes, they have.

For years, the streaming music giant has offered a unique option for users – ‘Pre-Save.’

The feature allows fans to pre-save their favorite artists’ music. Once released, fans can immediately stream new songs and albums.

There’s just one problem, though.  The ‘Pre-Save’ feature comes with a significant caveat – one Spotify has chosen to hide.

According to Billboard’s Micah Singleton, major music labels, including Warner, Sony, and Universal Music, immediately receive access to personal user data after a pre-save is triggered.  The list of data includes e-mail addresses and playlist information, among many other things.  Singleton reports this only happens when users pre-save works.

Even worse: this has been going on for years.

He explains,

Labels also ask for far more permissions than they need.  Spotify users who, for example, tried to pre-save the Little Mix single, ‘Bounce Back,’ from links shared by the act or its label, Sony Music, were prompted to agree that Spotify could allow Sony to “view your Spotify account data,” “view your activity on Spotify” and “take actions in Spotify on your behalf.”

“The exact permissions Sony requests are only visible to those who click through to the corresponding submenus, so users may not fully understand all that they’re agreeing to – or that the changes apply to their account unless they change it on Spotify’s website.

The grabbing dates back to 2017.  Labeling Sony Music as “the worst offender,” the report notes that all three major labels have routinely snooped into Spotify users’ data.

Image by Micah Singleton (Click to enlarge.)

He later tweeted,

Since 2017, labels — the worst offender being Sony Music — have asked for an excessive amount of permissions, when it only requires a single permission to pre-save an album.  Why haven’t you noticed?  Spotify hides the actual permissions requested behind a drop-down menu.”

Citing a key example, users who pre-save Chris Brown’s track, ‘Guidance,’ will first have to provide Sony Music permission to “upload images to personalize your profile or playlist cover.” The major label also receives authority to “manage who you follow on Spotify.”

Other information record labels will have access to includes your personal listening history, works saved to your library, created and save playlists, followed artists, and works you’re currently streaming.  They can also take actions on your account on your behalf.

Image by Micah Singleton (Click to enlarge.)

Thus far, the music streaming company has remained quiet on the report.  So, you can expect this privacy invasion against its loyal fan base to continue.

 


 

Adidas Officially Unveils The Crazy BYW 3: First Look

Adidas Boost has been impressing sneaker consumers since 2013 and just a few years ago, Adidas unveiled the Adidas Crazy BYW to the world which helped solidify Boost’s impressive range. Modeled after the “feet you wear” silhouettes the 1990s, the “Boost you wear” model fers a double and sometimes triple dose Boost. The previous two models the Crazy BYW had a chunky midsole that was completely made Boost, all while resting below a funky mid-cut upper.

Today, the Crazy BYW 3 was unveiled to the world and it appears as though Adidas is building on previous models but with a twist. The first two colorways which can be seen below showcase a sneaker that has suede overlays all throughout the upper, while mesh makes up the tongue portion. From there, chunky sections Boost are placed on the back heel and on the front portion the midsole, with the latter being protected by a plastic casing.

There is no release date for this sneaker just yet, although it should be coming soon, according to Sneaker News.

Adidas Officially Unveils The Crazy BYW 3: First Look

Adidas

Adidas Officially Unveils The Crazy BYW 3: First Look

Adidas

Adidas Officially Unveils The Crazy BYW 3: First Look

Adidas

Adidas Officially Unveils The Crazy BYW 3: First Look

Adidas

Timbaland & Scott Storch Cook Up Fire In Epic Studio Session

Timbaland. Scott Storch. If you don’t know the names, either hit Wikipedia now or hold a gaggle L’s. Both legendary producers, both holding a respectable discography lined with platinum hits. And while they previously enjoyed a brief stint trying their hand at rap beef, the pair have since decided to buddy up, and put their musical minds together for an epic studio session.

In fact, the chilly instrumental was live enough to leave a commenting Boi-1da, himself a student the game, literally frightened. Such is the expected side-effect two veteran producers, each possessing a different yet valued skill set. Storch, a bonafide master the keys, capable crafting chord progressions in a virtuosic manner; this is, after all, the man responsible for “Still Dre’s” iconic riff. As for Timbaland, his ear for rhythm and percussion is nigh unparalleled, as evidenced by his varied catalog. In this very video, Timbo’s naturalistic instincts are revealed in full blown; even he knows he’s shutting it down, as he coyly addresses the camera.

It’s unclear when, and if, the fruits their labor will see the light day. We’ve long seen Storch amassing a vault unreleased material, and while he consistently opens the door for potential collaborations, many his biggest bangers have yet to see the light day. Yet Timbaland has once again emerged at the forefront the rap game, arguably revitalized in an exciting fashion. Case in point, his stellar work on Tee Grizzley’s ScripturesPerhaps this second wind is exactly what the once-rivals needed, and by proxy, what the rap game needs as well. 

Mike Conley Delivers Heartfelt Message To Memphis: Watch

Mike Conley was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Utah Jazz last week and fans his former team have been in mourning ever since. Conley is one the most important players in franchise history and was a part the infamous “grit and grind” era which saw the team reach the Western Conference Finals one season. The Grizzlies have struggled over the past few seasons and it was clear that it was time for both parties to move on from each other. As Conley heads to Utah, he will be a part a young team that has an opportunity to contend in a depleted Western Conference.

While Conley is leaving Memphis, he still has plenty strong feelings for the city and expressed them in a heartwarming video Uninterrupted.

As Conley explains, he was only a 19-year-old kid when he was drafted by the team and was able to build strong friendships with his teammates over the years. The point guard is seen as one the more low-key players in the league who still has the ability to win his team games.

Even though fans the squad are disappointed, it should be comforting to know just how much Conley loved the city and that he’s wishing everyone the best.

It’s a classy video by an even classier player.

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott‘s upcoming Air Jordan 6 collab has surfaced numerous times since he first broke out the kicks for his performance at Super Bowl LIII, but today we have our best look yet at what’s to come when the “Cactus Jack” 6s drop this Summer.

As seen in the latest batch photos, the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 comes equipped with an olive green nubuck accompanied by black detailing and a sail-colored midsole. Additional details include a button enclosed stash pocket on the ankle collar and University Red accents that appear throughout the silhouette, including the Jumpman branding on the tongue, as well as the Nike Air and Cactus Jack branding on the heels. 

It is believed that the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6, retailing for $250, will debut in the coming weeks. The exclusive collab will also available in sizes for the whole fam. Continue scrolling for a closer look while we await ficial release info.

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 Revealed In Detail: Best Look Yet

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6/SolebyJC

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Are Two For Two With "Pinata" Follow-Up "Bandana"

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib have kept fans waiting over half a decade for the release their long-awaited second collaborative joint effort as MaddGibbs. Pinata arrived in 2014 to critical acclaim and further propelled Gibbs into the conversation best rappers in the game right now. Freddie’s collaboration with Madlib came from left field to most but the results their work in the past have come out beautifully. After dropping four singles, the duo returned with the second album in their trilogy.

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib have done it again with the release their new album, Bandana. Following years waiting, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib dropped f a fifteen-track project with masterfully curated features. Pusha T and Killer Mike link up with Freddie Kane and Madlib for the cocaine-fueled “Palmolive.” He later teams up with Yasiin Bey and reunites with Black Thought towards the end the project on “Education.” And course, Anderson .Paak comes through with the assist on “Giannis.” 

At this point, it’s hard to think another rapper-producer duo in hip-hop this decade that is as consistent as Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. Although Bandana took over five years to arrive since Pinata, they prove the wait was worth it. Gibbs and Madlib aren’t done just yet. The two previously announced the third installment to their trilogy, Montana. Whether we’ll have to wait another five years remains a mystery but even if we do, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib have yet to disappoint.  

Stream Bandana below. 

Russ Accuses The Music Industry Of Taking Advantage Of Black Youth

Russ is one those artists that people love to hate for reasons that can only be described as “hey, that’s just the internet for you.” Some feel as though Russ can be a little too preachy at times and that his messages are perceived as corny. This hasn’t stopped Russ from prospering and this weekend, he will be featured in an episode Joe Budden‘s “The Pull Up.” In one the teaser videos to the episode, Russ and Budden have an interesting exchange regarding black youth and their position in the music industry.

After the video was released, Russ took the opportunity to clarify his statements by going on a lengthy Twitter rant where he puts the music industry on blast for being predatory.

Per @russdiemon:

“The industry, owned and ran by white people, uses young naive financially desperate black kids to perpetuate negative black stereotypes that in turn hold back & further destroy the black community. Black kids are being used as weapons mass destruction against their own people. As a guest in the house hip hop, I can’t just come in here and take take take…which is what white people historically do to anything black created. I have to give back to the culture that’s allowing me to take care myself and my family. I try to do that by shedding light. On music business pitfalls to avoid/other things that I’ve learned that I feel could benefit anybody who’s tryna navigate this industry. I know a lotta time the “how” is harsh, but I want everyone to win on their terms and not get swindled and I hope y’all get that.”

#DXCLUSIVE: AmirSaysNothing Explores Dualities With "Bright Side Pleasures" Video

HipHopDX Premiere – AmirSaysNothing has returned with a new visual for “Bright Side Pleasures.” Featuring Daisy Hamel-Buffa, the front woman of the Los Angeles-based band DAISY, the video is intended to represent the emotions of heaven and hell, love and pain, stress and bliss.

“The Side A of the song is fast and intense, echoing the tumultuous times I had been going through not only as an artist but also as a person,” Amir tells HipHopDX. “[It’s about] surviving through the madness of the world, family and career to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. The Side B is the sun rise again, the end of the rain, the bliss.”

Amir adds, “The lyrics of the verse – ‘I’m like Dre/Fuck the stress/I’m on my sails” – it is freedom. I have become great friends with DAISY over the past few years, and I had texted her that word. That’s what her voice embodied to me, the sweet but raw sound of being free. I am so honored to have been able to create this and have her be a part of it.”

“Bright Side Pleasures” follows his 2019 the Big Jerm-produced “Big Star,” and is featured on Amir’s upcoming full-length project.

Check out the video above.

Lakers Reportedly Targeting Kyrie Irving After Clearing Max Space

Yesterday was a huge day for NBA news as it was revealed that Anthony Davis would waive his $4 million trade kicker, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers with enough cap space to go out and sign another max player. Kawhi Leonard is one the biggest players being targeted by the Lakers although he appears to be more interested in the Clippers and the Toronto Raptors. The Lakers could choose to sign a plethora players with their $32 million or elect to go after another star. According to Marc Stein the New York Timesit looks like Kyrie Irving is someone the Lakers are seriously thinking about.

“Kyrie Irving remains as much a target for the Lakers as Kawhi Leonard, league sources say, now that the Lakers are sure they can open maximum cap space,” Stein tweeted. “They are swinging for the fences despite all the signals that have pointed Irving to Brooklyn.”

Stream Mustard’s Album ‘Perfect Ten’

Mustard is back on the beat.

Just in time for summer, the Grammy-winning producer brings the heat with his third studio album Perfect Ten. On the follow-up to 2016’s Cold Summer, Mustard crafts more anthems, starting with the Migos-assisted hit “Pure Water.” The 10 tracks also include frequent collaborators YG, Ella Mai, and Ty Dolla $ign, along with Future, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Young Thug, Gunna, and more.

“My life is at a perfect 10 right now,” Mustard told Ebro on Beats 1. “Sometimes I wake up and I be like, this can’t be true. I got three kids. I got engaged. My mom is good. I just bought my sister a house. I won a Grammy. Just period, my life.”

The late Nipsey Hussle guests on the title track, which closes out the album. “He was doing everything,” said Mustard of the Crenshaw legend. “When you really look at his life and what he’s doing, he’s doing it all. It’s up to everybody to keep that going and really lock into it.”

Stream Perfect Ten below.

Larsa Pippen Rumored To Be Dating New NBA Player

It looks like Larsa Pippen, the ex-wife Scottie Pippen, may have herself a new man, and again its another NBA player. Last night, Larsa celebrated her 44th birthday by hitting up the LA clubs with her new rumored boyfriend, 27-year old NBA player Eric Mooreland. According to MTO, the two were spotted leaving the popular LA hotspot Warwick Wednesday night and acting more like a “couple” than friends while holding hands and being by each others side all night. 

Larsa Pippen Rumored To Be Dating New NBA Player

Mooreland, who spent two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, most recently found himself in a reserve role with the Toronto Raptors this season, where he won a championship ring. On top that, it was just earlier this week when social media found out that Larsa Pippen had been commenting heavily on Eric’s IG posts, including a “congrats babe” after the team won the title. So if you add last night’s B-day celebration and all the IG comments, it sure looks like Larsa and Eric are actually in a relationship.

Despite her divorce with Scottie though, Larsa has reassured that she still has a very loving relationship with him and that there is no bad blood. I wonder how Scottie feels about Larsa going after the young gun though?

Check out a couple IG comments (below).

Larsa Pippen Rumored To Be Dating New NBA Player

Larsa Pippen Rumored To Be Dating New NBA Player

Larsa Pippen Rumored To Be Dating New NBA Player 

Megan Thee Stallion Speaks On Homophobic Tweets: "Everyone Just Stop"

Houston Hottie Megan Thee Stallion got into a bit trouble lately when a series homophobic tweets she had penned years ago resurfaced. The tweets, stemming from as early as 2011, show a consistent streak extremely homophobic views shared by the singer. “This lil f****t just pissed me f,” was what one them said, hinting at the use the f-word. Considering the time those tweets and the singer’s current age, we can confirm that The Stallion was about 17 or 18 at the time. Although celebrities seem to find themselves in situations wherein they must defend their prior tweets, as we’ve seen with famed individuals like Kevin Hart, Megan Thee Stallion chose to shut it all down very quickly. When someone attempted to put her on blast because the old tweets, she checked them immediately.

“You going this far over a tweet from 2012?” she wrote. “That obviously meant no harm coming from me in high school, you mfs are sick.” The user who asked the question has since deleted the tweet. She then addressed the actual tweets and re-apologized. “I’ve already apologized for tweets that obviously do not represent my views now. I don’t do nothing but show love to everyone so just stop.”

Offset Praises Cardi B For "Press" Music "She Is So Creative"

We recently reported on Cardi B releasing the controversial and cinematic music video to her budding new single “Press.” And much like the song, the video does not fail to make a statement and appears to be throwing shots at the rapper’s current issues with the law. In the aforementioned video, Cardi did not fail to turn heads and lay bare (literally) with a set other dancers to put on a very detailed choreography. Moreover, we spotted numerous shots Cardi in court before the music video ended with a slew dead bodies which appeared to have been the result a Cardi B massacre. While we are certain the video was made as such for creative purposes only, it still shocked the world and somewhat reflected a more creative side Cardi. The rap star later revealed she had a strong role in the creation the video and made her directorial debut with it.

Her husband Offset was very proud his wifey and brought his praise to Instagram. In a post, the rapper’s husband captioned and shared a photo his wife: “PRESS VIDEO OUT NOW. SHE IS SO CREATIVE. SHE PUTS SO MUCH EMOTION & HEART IN VIDEO.” Offset surely knows how to support his wifey.

Ty Dolla $ign Bodied His Drug Classes & Gets Case Removed From Record

Atlanta, GA – Ty Dolla $ign was facing 15 years in prison after reportedly being busted by Atlanta police for possession of cocaine and marijuana in Septemeber. Now, the Grammy Award-winning star has been exonerated of all charges after successfully completing a drug program with high marks, The Blast reports.

The 34-year-old Los Angeles native born Tyrone William Griffin Jr. was indicted on November 30 and his lawyer, Steven Sadow, was able to negotiate a sweet deal with Georgia prosecutors that would give the Ty a fresh start.

Completion of an online drug-prevention program, staying out of trouble and away from drugs were all part of the deal. The multi-talented musician was also subject to random drug testing while completing Georgia’s 13-week Second Chance program.

Following Ty Dolla’s November arrest, his attorney Drew Findling insisted that the marijuana and cocaine police reportedly found during their search did not belong to the Taylor Gang artist.

“He had no drugs on his person at all,” Findling told Channel Action 2 News. “Apparently there was a small amount of some drug found in the car, and they let five people walk away. And they let the international superstar go into custody.”

With the drug charges gone and behind him, expect more new music from Ty Dolla as he preps for the release of his third solo LP. He dropped the lead single for his next project, “Purple Emoji” featuring J. Cole in May.