Apple, Amazon, Google, and others sued for selling thousands of pirated recordings

“The estate of Harold Arlen, the man responsible for composing Over the Rainbow and numerous other classic songs, is suing Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Pandora for selling unauthorized recordings of some of the songwriter’s most famous music,” Jon Porter reports for The Verge. “Forbes notes that the lawsuit says the companies are involved in a ‘massive music piracy operation’ involving over 6,000 pirated recordings.”

“It’s possible to see some of the unauthorized versions cited in the lawsuit in online stores. For example, there are two copies of the album Once Again… by Ethel Ennis available to stream on Apple Music, but the cover of one has been edited to remove the RCA Victor logo,” Porter reports. “In another case, we can see a clear price difference between two digital copies of an original cast recording of the musical Jamaica being sold on Amazon.”

“The lawsuit claims that these online retailers are selling and streaming these recordings with the full knowledge that they’re unauthorized,” Porter reports. “In total, the filing makes 216 claims across its 148 pages.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last week, 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.

SEE ALSO:
‘Over the Rainbow’ composer’s estate sues Apple and others over ‘pirated’ music sales – May 17, 2019

3 Comments

  1. I’m betting that Apple requires anyone selling music through iTunes or Apple Music to certify that they possess all the relevant rights and agree to indemnify Apple if that representation proves incorrect for any reason. I’m not sure how else a music distribution outlet, whether Tower Records, iTunes Store, or Pandora, can operate. They can’t reasonably be expected to do all the rights-clearance work themselves for tens of thousands of lyrics, tunes, arrangements, and performances.

  2. “The lawsuit claims that these online retailers are selling and streaming these recordings with the full knowledge that they’re unauthorized,”

    ‘Full knowledge’ may be hard for the plaintiff to prove. Even harder for the plaintiff if he/she had not also sent cease and desist letters to Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. prior to filing suit.

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