Rapper El-P Says Spotify Does Nothing to Protect Against Fraudulent Uploads: ‘Spotify Doesn’t Help.’

El-P (r) with Killer Mike (l), the duo that comprises Run the Jewels.
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El-P (r) with Killer Mike (l), the duo that comprises Run the Jewels.
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El-P (r) with Killer Mike (l), the duo that comprises Run the Jewels.

Rapper El-P is not only half of Run the Jewels, he’s also the CEO of Definitive Jux.  Now, he’s speaking out on the rampant fraud he has to deal with on Spotify — with near-zero help from the platform.

This isn’t an issue that just crept up.  But after getting asked by a fan about endless fake versions of his music (or identity) on Spotify, rapper El-P unloaded on Twitter over the weekend.

“No matter how many times I pay my lawyer to take them down, Spotify just doesn’t care enough to not let other people upload songs to my page or my albums, or that I own to theirs,” El-P wrote.

“What I mean is I regularly have to send take down notices not only for people using my name for their music and it appearing on my artist page, but for people uploading my albums to their page and assumedly having my money diverted to them until we catch it.”

El-P (real name Jaime Meline) noted that these takedowns also cost money.  Of course, that’s on top of the hassle and time, not to mention paltry streaming payouts.

“So not only do we get paid a pittance on @Spotify but we actually have to pay hundreds a month simply to regulate what gets sold in our name,” the alt-rapper continued.  “I’m tired of being nice about it, the world is descending into fascism I’ll be damned if I care about ruffling feathers at Spotify.”

El-P later clarified that the amounts are much higher than ‘hundreds’ of dollars.

“And despite all my money spent simply correcting the fact that @spotify lets people upload music in my name that aren’t me and that I regularly have to find and take down my own intellectual property from other peoples pages, I’m expected to pay monthly for the service.”

“Spotify doesn’t help.”

Unfortunately for El-P, this is a monthly occurrence.  And all the burden falls in the artist’s lap.

“For those that don’t know, the rules Spotify have set forth are as follows: if someone uploads music in your name to your page, or your music to theirs fraudulently, your only recourse is to issue a take down by a lawyer,” Meline continued.  “Spotify doesn’t help. This happens to me almost monthly.”

According to El-P, Apple Music is a completely different story.

“Yeah, Apple has a relationship with the owners of the music and a more secure process on how to deliver your content. Sometimes stuff slips through the cracks but it’s nothing like Spotify.”

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    When our Canadian PRO’s #SOCAN #CMRRA and #CIPO don’t require “Proof of Copyright Ownership” and yiur “Location”, these behaviours of Copyright Infringements follow.


    You are the thieves who harvested off these facts. Shame and guilt you shall wear for all time.

    • Dean Hajas

      That was meant to be signed by Dean Hajas …as always I remain faithful to the intent of Copyright. Unfortunately I cannot day the same for #SOCAN

  2. tory

    actually, the blame for this should fall to the distributors. they are the ones who should be checking each and every release before it goes live on the stores. but the fact is, most don’t. and when they distribute to contentid, they can easily steal royalties from the original artist. this happens all the time. why don’t you go ask kaplan how much he makes from fraudulent contentid claims on distrokid? it goes beyond spotify. it is up to the distributors to catch this stuff before it’s sent out.

  3. Frank

    I’d keep it simple and just sue Spotify (send a cease and desist before). At the end of the day they’re the ones making illegal content available through their site and app. How that content got there and who uploaded what shouldn’t have to be the copyright owner’s concern – it should be Spotify having to figure that out.

  4. Anon

    Spotify legal and compliance are a joke there are people earning thousands loading fake music and streaming through bots and Spotify refuse to do anything