Copyright Law

SoundExchange sues Slacker for unpaid royalties

This week SoundExchange sued Slacker and owner LiveOne for non-payment of digital performance royalties

via Celebrity Access

SoundExchange filed suit this week in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Slacker and its parent company LiveOne to recover unpaid royalties owed to performers and rights owners.

“By refusing to pay royalties for the use of protected sound recordings, Slacker and LiveOne have directly harmed creators over the years,” stated Michael Huppe, president, and CEO of SoundExchange. “Today, SoundExchange is taking a stand through necessary legal action to protect the value of music and ensure creators are compensated fairly for their work. We hope Slacker and LiveOne will promptly reverse course and pay what they owe for the use of recordings that drive the value of their service.”

Slacker is a digital media company that uses the statutory license for the use of sound recordings on digital radio. In 2017, Slacker stopped paying statutory royalties to creators whose recordings it was using. SoundExchange has been in negotiations with Slacker since that time to resolve their outstanding balance, but Slacker has failed to meet the terms to which the parties agreed. SoundExchange is now filing a complaint for breach of contract and underpayment of statutory royalties.

SoundExchange was independently formed in 2003 to build a simpler and more efficient music industry through technology, data, and advocacy. The only organization designated by the US government to administer the Section 114 sound recording license, SoundExchange collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of 570,000 music creators and growing. Through proprietary music tech solutions that turn data into accurate revenue, SoundExchange has paid more than $9 billion in distributions to date.

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