Spotify is facing a massive class action lawsuit, with serious allegations of unpaid royalties. The suit was filed December 28th by musician David Lowery, frontman of bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. Lowery, who carries a long history of advocating for fair pay for artists, claims that Spotify is distributing copyrighted content while skipping key royalties. As a result, Lowery is demanding around $150 million in damages for the illegal distribution of his songs.
Lowery alleges that Spotify has caused “substantial harm and injury to the copyright holders.” In the complaint, Lowery says Spotify has illegally duplicated many of his songs by his band, Cracker, including ‘King of Bakersfield,’ ‘Almond Grove,’ and others.
Spotify has faced a lawsuit over copyright infringement before. Back in 2013, Ministry of Sound sued Spotify for refusing to delete user-created playlists, and more recently Victory Records claimed Spotify was underpaying its artists in deserved royalties.
But there’s more. Spotify is in the midst of trying to settle with the NMPA after being sued for failing to accurately monitor the payments of royalties. In a blog post last week, Spotify admitted that it was experiencing difficulties managing royalty payments. The streaming service vowed to work with the NMPA to build a “comprehensive publishing administration system” to ensure artists and publishers are compensated fairly.