Ministry of Sound sues Spotify over playlists

4 Sep 2013

Dance music label Ministry of Sound is suing music-streaming service Spotify for allegedly refusing to delete users’ playlists that mirror its compilation albums. The case sets an interesting precedent for music services that let users create playlists.

Proceedings were launched in the UK High Court this week with Ministry of Sound seeking an injunction against Spotify forcing it to remove the playlists in question.

The company is also seeking an injunction against Spotify to ensure that it permanently blocks playlists that copy its compilations.

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Ministry of Sound is also seeking damages.

It is understood that the Ministry of Sound has been requesting Spotify to remove the playlists since 2002.

At the heart of the issue is not whether music can be legitimately streamed but whether the actual order of songs from an album can be copyrighted.

Commenting on the Ministry of Sound blog, the company’s CEO Lohan Presencer sought to answer fans’ questions.

“We understand your concern and are not trying to prevent you from putting together your own playlists,” Presencer said.

“ This case is about playlists that copy our albums and that are made available by Spotify as playlists on a commercial basis, often including our logo and album art work.  Spotify does this without any recognition for the creative effort that goes into compiling our albums.

“Our case strives to ensure that Spotify recognises the value of our creative effort and that the service ensures that everyone (users and those that create great albums) is treated fairly,” Presencer said.