“Apple and a large number of tech companies have become the subject of a new music lawsuit, with the estate of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ track ‘Over the Rainbow’ composer Harold Arlen accusing the firms of creating a ‘music piracy operation’ that distributes unlicensed and unauthorized versions of copyrighted songs,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider.
“Filed in the US District Court of the Central District of California on May 9, the lawsuit from SA Music and Harold Arlen Trust has a lengthy list of defendants, headed up by Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Pandora, followed by a large number of distributors and studios,” Owen reports. “The accusation stems from a practice of failing to account for the ownership of music being submitted to music services, which due to a lack of proper clearance and licensing, is deemed to consist of ‘pirated recordings’ by the plaintiff. The failure to obtain a license to authorize the reproduction, distribution, sale, or stream of the recordings is said to be an infringement on the composer’s estate’s rights. ”
“For example, the 1964 Ethel Ennis recording of ‘For Every Man There’s a Woman’ is sold by RCA Sony for $1.29 while the pirated Stardust Records version, complete with doctored album art, sells for $0.89,” Owen reports. “Benny Goodman’s 1955 album ‘Get Happy’ sold by Capitol Records goes for $7.99 through Google Play and Amazon, while Pickwick Group Limited’s unauthorized copy sells for $6.99.”
Read more, including a copy of the lawsuit, in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Music clearance and licensing is obviously a convoluted morass. There has to be a better way to properly identify genuine recordings from pirated versions and remove/bar them from digital stores and subscription services.