Dance record label Ministry of Sound has launched proceedings in the High Court against music streaming service Spotify claiming that Spotify’s user playlists copy its own compilation albums. Ministry of Sound is seeking an injunction requiring Spotify to remove the playlists in question and to permanently block playlists that copy its own compilations. It is also seeking damages and costs.

Ministry of Sound’s chief executive, Lohan Presencer, claims that they have been asking Spotify to remove the playlists – some of which include “Ministry of Sound” in their titles – since 2012. He said that “a lot of research goes into” creating the compilations and “what we do is a lot more than putting playlists together. The value and creativity in our compilations are self-evident. It’s not appropriate for someone to just cut and paste them.”

Spotify, which has sought to negotiate a licensing deal with Ministry of Sound for four years, declined to comment on the action.

This case will be determined on whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection due to the selection and arrangement involved in compiling them together. Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists in question, but the issue here is whether the compilation itself can be copyrighted.

Intellectual Property lawyers will be watching this case with a keen eye in what promises to be a landmark decision.

For further enquiries on copyright or other intellectual property matters please contact Antony Cotton.

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