On August 21, Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a lawsuit against Spotify, alleging that the streaming company had streamed his songs billions of songs without acquiring the proper licenses. The lawsuit also challenged the constitutionality of the Music Modernization Act passed by Congress in 2018, which makes it more difficult for artists to sue digital services for statutory damages, asserting that the MMA violates the Fifth Amendment.
Now, Spotify has filed a third party claim in federal court against the music publisher and label services company Kobalt, which has an administration deal with Eight Mile Style, as Billboard reports. Spotify’s lawsuit claims the streaming service was led to believe by Kobalt that Eight Mile Style’s catalog was included in the direct licensing agreement held between Spotify and Kobalt, and that Spotify has been paying royalties to Kobalt for streams of the catalog for the past nine years. (Eminem himself is not a party in the dispute.)
Eight Mile Style alleges in the original complaint that while it granted Kobalt “the right to receive income arising from licenses issued by Eight Mile,” it did not grant “the right or ability to license Eight Mile compositions for digital mechanical licenses, unless consented to by Eight Mile.” Spotify is seeking breach of contract, contractual indemnity, anticipatory repudiation, and negligent and/or intentional misrepresentation claims against Kobalt and requests a court order Kobalt to pay its legal fees in addition to “any damages, fees, and costs awarded to Eight Mile” in the lawsuit. Find Spotify’s complaint below.
Read “Why the Eminem Vs. Spotify Case May Be Headed to the Supreme Court” over on the Pitch.