Massachusetts musician and publisher Melissa Ferrick hits Spotify with $200 million lawsuit

Music streaming service Spotify is facing another lawsuit from a songwriter.

Yesterday, Massachusetts musician and publisher Melissa Ferrick leveled a $200 million lawsuit against the music streaming company, mere weeks after David Lowery, known for his work in alt-rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, filed his own $200 million class action suit.

According to Music Business Worldwide, Ferrick, who studied locally at both Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, argues that songwriters featured on Spotify are entitled to $200 million in unpaid royalties. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on January 8.

From the report:

Like Lowery, Ferrick is claiming damages for Spotify’s alleged “wholesale copyright infringement” on behalf of all songwriters whose musical compositions were “reproduced and distributed without a license during the last three years”.

It argues: ‘Spotify did not have and does not have a comprehensive system of music publishing administration in place necessary to license all of the songs embodied in phonorecords which it ingests and distributes by means of interactive streaming and temporary downloads. Rather than decline to distribute phonorecords embodying musical compositions that are unlicensed, however, Spotify elected instead to engage in wholesale copyright infringement.’

Ferrick, who owns the companies Nine Two One Music and Right On Records/Publishing, claims that her own songs have been streamed “approximately one million times” on Spotify without appropriate mechanical licenses. Her suit echoes Lowery’s assertion that songwriters whose copyright has been infringed are entitled to recover up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each unlicensed composition played on Spotify.

Music Business Worldwide has posted a copy of Ferrick’s suit, which you can read in full.