The representatives and music companies of several high-profile composers and songwriters have filed a sizable copyright-infringement lawsuit against Apple.
The plaintiffs’ legal team argues that Apple has long sold bootleg music through the iTunes Store, alongside (and often at a lower price than) the official, legitimate versions of the songs. Additionally, it’s claimed that this practice constitutes a “massive music piracy operation.” Moreover, the plaintiffs also named Adasam Limited, a UK company, as a defendant in the lawsuit. It’s alleged that the brand, “which has no web presence, is selling [bootlegged] recordings by virtually every well-known recording artist from the 1920s through the 1960s” to Apple.
An array of allegedly unlicensed “Greatest Hits” albums (comprising thousands of songs, organized by year) were cited in the filing; “Apple and Adasam have gone year-by-year and released multiple compilations per year comprised of pirated copies of virtually every prominent recording from the 1940s through the early 1960s.”
And as the plaintiff composers’ estates/music companies lay claim to some of the most successful songs of the 1900s (many of which remain popular today), it’s alleged that they’re suffering financially because of the ostensibly illegal reproductions.
While Adasam’s role and potential liability in the matter seems clear (the company has in fact provided many songs to Apple), the plaintiffs’ claim that “Apple did not perform any investigation or due diligence” to assure that Adasam possessed the authorization to sell copyrighted recordings internationally. Further, the filing states that Apple has known about Adasam’s alleged copyright infringement for multiple years, and has nevertheless continued to strike deals with the company.
As mentioned in this piece and the court filing, Adasam has an extremely limited online presence. Per public records, Adasam Limited was incorporated in February 2001 and, as of March 2018, possessed assets worth approximately $192,700 (£155,500). It also bears mentioning that the company is registered at the same location as an industrial cleaning company, which, according to public records once again, is owned by the same individual.
The three composers/songwriters represented in the lawsuit are: Harold Arlen (who composed songs for The Wizard of Oz, including “Over the Rainbow”), Ray Henderson (who wrote “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “I’m Sitting on Top of the World”), and Harry Warren (who composed more than 800 songs, including “That’s Amore”).