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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Eight Mile Style, the publisher that represents the rapper Eminem, has filed a lawsuit against Spotify, saying that the streaming service lacks a license to feature his music and that the portions of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) are unconstitutional.
According to the lawsuit, Spotify has no license for Eminem’s compositions and has not fully accounted for the billions of streams they’ve played. It adds that several key songs, including Lose Yourself, are placed into a category called “Copyright Control” which says that the owner of the song is not known, something Eight Mile style finds “absurd.”
The lawsuit also targets the MMA, a recently-passed law that aims to simplify the licensing of compositions and the payment of royalties, especially on tracks where the author is unknown. According to Eight Mile Style, by limiting damages on certain claims, the act is a violation of the Fifth Amendment of the constitution being an unlawful “taking of Eight Mile’s vested property right.” The lawsuit seeks a total of $36.45 million in damages, a declaration that Spotify does not quality for limited damages under the MMA and parts of the MMA itself is unconstitutional.
Next up today, Maggie Gilroy at the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that Jonathan Wright, a Endwell, New York-based children’s musician with the stage name Johnny Only, has filed a lawsuit in South Korea against Pinkfong, the creator of the Baby Shark song and music video.
According to Wright, Pinkfong’s ubiquitous 2015 song has based on a version that he created in 2011. He goes on to claim that he aimed to take the original Baby Shark, a campfire song/sing-a-long that featured a description of a violent shark attack, and make it acceptable for toddlers by removing the violent portions and replacing them with less-violent details.
Pinkfong, however, claims that the song is based solely on the classic campfire songs that are wholly in the public domain. Wright’s lawyer reports that the case is well underway in Seoul Central District Court though the lawsuit has not been translated from Korean and the hearings about the case are closed.
Finally today, Sky News reports that Taylor Swift has said that she plans on re-recording many of her greatest hits so she will be able to control the copyright of the recordings of her most famous works.
Back in June Ithaca Holdings, a company owned by controversial music manager Scooter Braun, acquired Swift’s former label. This gave Braun control over her masters as well as the masters of other artists. However, Swift accuses Braun of being a bully and said that she was “sad” and “grossed out” when she learned about the purchase.
Back in November, Swift signed with Universal Music and now says that she plans on re-recording her biggest hits so that she can retain greater control over those version. There is no word on when she plans to start work on those new recordings.