The Grand Deflection: Spotify “Database” Closes the Door After the Fox is in The Chickencoop

More on this to come, but now Spotify has been called out as a potential infringer by artists and songwriters, now–now–suddenly it’s Spotify making this announcement:

Today we are excited to announce that Spotify will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem.

Right…that’s called a licensing department, isn’t it?

Oh, snap!

Here’s a really simple fix–don’t use the songs if you don’t have the rights.  As Billboard reports:

Since [Spotify] initially choose to rely on outside vendors like Harry Fox’s Slingshot operation, industry sources tell Billboard that Spotify currently owes publishers and songwriters about $25 million for music played on its U.S. service. But a source close to Spotify disputes that amount and says its closer to $17 million.

So let’s get this straight–Spotify hired the Harry Fox Agency to take care of it’s licensing, but when HFA couldn’t identify rights holders–which you have to guess must have happened on a fairly grand scale–it was Spotify, not HFA, that decided to go forward and use the songs or recordings without rights.  Spotify now says that it plans to invest in an in house licensing system which apparently does not include HFA.

If HFA was doing such a poor job, then why is it that Spotify only got religion after Tony Brummel raked them over the coals.  That is–AFTER SPOTIFY GOT CAUGHT!  And now–now–they want to actually “invest” in a royalty department?  Something iTunes did on Day One?  Why would they say “invest”?  That’s kind of an odd choice of words.

Staffing a royalty department is not an investment, it’s a cost of doing business–unless of course they mean they will be one of the investors.  Alongside others who don’t bother with licenses like, oh, say YouTube or Google.  And then all the foxes will be in the chickencoop.

This is get grand deflection to take your attention away from the real problem.  Spotify smells like that place at high tide.  If one were going to make a case for intentional infringement, there’s going to be some interesting email traffic (see BMG v. Cox) that probably will not bode well.

Let the spoliation begin.

A great way to begin the season of hope.

Merry Christmas, y’all.