MUSICAL EMPORIUM the Ministry of Sound is suing streaming music service Spotify over its playlists.
The firm is concerned that Spotify is letting users create playlists that ape its paid-for compilation albums and not taking them down when requested.
Ministry of Sound CEO Lohan Presencer told the Guardian that the disco business has had enough. "It's been incredibly frustrating: we think it's been very clear what we're arguing, but there has been a brick wall from Spotify," he said.
"What we do is a lot more than putting playlists together: a lot of research goes into creating our compilation albums, and the intellectual property involved in that. It's not appropriate for someone to just cut and paste them."
Presencer was given more room to complain about compilations in a Guardian blog post. He said that now, after months of correspondence, it is time that the streamer is "held to account".
"The money Spotify pays labels is not necessarily flowing through to artists. Also Spotify isn't paying all labels," he added. "You won't find our compilation albums on Spotify. Why not? Because its business model does not recognise that our products (compilations) have any material value."
The music retailing chief said that his firm noticed playlists that copied its compilations and their titles last year and began contacting Spotify about them.
"We assumed it was an oversight on Spotify's part and contacted the company to request it remove the offending playlists. It declined, claiming there was no infringement and it wasn't its responsibility to police its users," he said.
"Several rounds of legal letters later, this dispute will now be settled in court. We believe we have a clear cut case. After 20 years and more than 50 million album sales, the value and creativity in our compilations are self evident. Until now, we've watched Spotify's progress from a distance. But we can no longer remain silent. This so-called saviour of the industry and enemy of the pirates is allowing our compilations to be used without permission and refusing to take action when told about the problem."
Presencer described this as a "David vs Goliath battle". µ