Letter to the New York Attorney General Asking for Investigation of Unpaid Royalties at Spotify and YouTube

The Trichordist

November 9, 2015

The Honorable Eric T. Schneiderman

Attorney General of New York

120 Broadway

New York , New York 10271-0332

Re: Unclaimed Property/Unpaid Royalties at Spotify and YouTube

Dear Attorney General Schneiderman:

I wish to call your attention to reporting by the Wall Street Journal that digital music service Spotify routinely fails to pay songwriter royalties for songwriters who Spotify has failed to locate—but whose songs they use anyway.  (“Songwriters Lose Out on Royalties”, October 14, 2015 available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/songwriters-lose-out-on-royalties-1444864895).   Precedents established by your office over 10 years ago could go a long way to solving this problem if you enforce them against “new boss” companies failing to disclose they are holding royalties.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify’s practice is to “escrow” royalties for songwriters whom Spotify has not located, and it is our understanding that YouTube also follows this practice, as may…

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