Spotify Litigates Against Kobalt Music Publishing Over Eminem Claims

Kobalt Music Group Unveils Worldwide Publishing Deal with The Other Songs
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Leading music streaming platform Spotify is litigating against Kobalt Music Publishing in its long-running lawsuit with Eminem publisher Eight Mile Style.

The Stockholm-based company named Kobalt Music Publishing in a third-party complaint – suggesting that it may be responsible for the damages alleged by Eight Mile Style – and a copy of the corresponding legal filing was shared with Digital Music News.

To recap, Eight Mile Style initiated the courtroom battle last August, alleging, among other things, that Spotify infringed upon a staggering 243 Eminem songs and failed to pay royalties for billions of user plays.

In this most recent filing, Spotify fired back by indicating that Eight Mile Style “received substantial royalty payments from Spotify based on that streaming” for the better part of a decade, during which time the publisher didn’t question the legal authority of the streaming service to offer Eminem’s songs.

Now, Kobalt Music Publishing has been brought into the fold. In the above-mentioned document, Spotify’s legal team stated: “Spotify was, in fact, licensed by Eight Mile’s agent, Kobalt, to reproduce and distribute the Compositions [the 243 Eminem songs in question].”

While the defendants maintained that “the underlying infringement claim by Eight Mile lacks merit,” they further noted that Kobalt should be held responsible in the event that the jurors decide the case in Eight Mile Style’s favor.

The complaint proceeded to reiterate that Kobalt Music Publishing had closed licensing agreements for Eminem songs “for years,” and that Spotify believed Kobalt possessed the permission and legal authority to do so. Evidently, Spotify also paid the licensing-agreement costs under the assumption that the appropriate share would be forwarded to Eight Mile Style.

At the time of this writing, Kobalt Music Publishing hadn’t publicly addressed the third-party complaint filed against it in the Eight Mile Style-Spotify lawsuit.

Last month, we reported that Spotify had paid more than $100 million for the exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), besides cracking down on third-party hacking tools.