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Anorak | Beyond parody: The Ministry of Sound sues spotify over playlists

Beyond parody: The Ministry of Sound sues spotify over playlists

by | 5th, September 2013

General view of Ministry of Sound, in central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday February 1, 2013. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

THIS really does take the cake:

Dance music empire the Ministry of Sound is suing music streaming service Spotify to protect the value of its compilation albums, in an unusual test case of European intellectual property law.

The legendary clubbing empire launched proceedings in the UK High Court on Monday. It wants an injunction requiring Spotify to remove the playlists and also wants the music streaming service to permanently block other playlists that copy its compilations. The company is also seeking damages and costs.

No, they’re not suing them over having copied the music: Spotify already has all the licences it needs from the record companies. It’s not even something that Spotify is doing: it’s the users who are creating the playlists.

Yep, the case is about the order in which songs are listed.

There is actually something rather amusing about this. Because lists can indeed by copyright: the phone book is for example. But it’s not the list itself which is copyright, not the information. It’s the way that it has been organised that is. So, your or my address and phone number isn’t copyrighted but the way they’ve laid it out in the phone book is.

However, there’s another test necessary as well: you have to be able to show that the person has actually copied before you can prove copyright breach. That is, you’ve got to show that they have seen the original and then copied it. It’s no good just saying the list is the same because it could be that that’s just the obvious way to do it (ie, the phone book, alphabetically).

And good luck to the Ministry of Sound proving that some random Spotify user has in fact seen a copy of one of its tat collections of groove music.



Posted: 5th, September 2013 | In: Money, Music Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink