Legal Corner: Is David Lowery Suing Spotify On Your Behalf?

The suit contends that Spotify failed to properly license mechanical rights.

Photo by Jason Thrasher David Lowery. Photo by Jason Thrasher

David Lowery, the lead singer and principal songwriter of indie rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, and long an advocate for artist’s rights, made headlines December 28 when he filed suit against Spotify for copyright infringement. The suit, filed in federal court in California, contends that Spotify failed to properly license mechanical rights.

Now, is Lowery suing the streaming giant on your behalf, given that this is a class action lawsuit.

Well, if Spotify is reproducing and distributing your song(s) without obtaining a license, he very well may be. But, given the procedural requirements of a class action lawsuit, we are a long way away from knowing whether this is the case.

Copyright infringement lawsuits involving well-known artists receive a lot of attention, which contributes to a misconception that copyright infringement litigation is common. Copyright infringement lawsuits, which are exclusive to federal courts, represent only about 1 percent of the federal court docket. And class-actions copyright lawsuits are even rarer.

Evaluating the merits of the class is difficult at this stage, especially since we don’t know who the class represents. Lowery appears to have a solid case for himself as an individual. He owns his publishing, Spotify has failed to properly obtain a license for his songs, and, most importantly, he secured his copyright registrations for the... Sign In to Keep Reading

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