Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music and Google Play are all fighting to keep streaming music affordable for jam-happy subscribers.
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The digital streaming servers have filed appeals after the Copyright Royalty Board ruled to increase rates charged to the servers for streaming your favorite music.
The board, which is in charge of protecting the rights of your favorite songwriters like Taylor Swift, Cardi B, and Justin Bieber, was preparing to hike rates by as much as 44% by 2023 prompting the companies to file their appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals late Wednesday, Aug. 14th, according to reporting by Billboard.com.
What was more frustrating to the music streaming companies was the way the CRB made their decision with what the streamers say were numerous legal errors and disregard for protocol.
Pandora, Spotify and the others took action because they felt the rate hike was not justified nor was any explanation given therefore preventing them from challenging the increase in costs which would eventually be passed along to the listeners.
Making things even worse was the decision by the CRB to install the rate hike retroactively, dating back to the beginning of 2018 which the streamers argued was invalid in their appeal claiming the CRB has no authority to make such action.
David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, whose job it is to advocate for the rights of publishers and songwriters, warned against this appeal.
“Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora have now been forced to admit in court papers how they think songwriters deserve to be paid less. In their lengthy appeal of the 2018 CRB rate increase which gave music creators a 44+% raise these giant tech companies confirm they are trying to slash the already low rates they pay to songwriters. The services’ challenge is unprecedented - the first time a CRB decision has ever been appealed for songwriters. We will continue to fight for our win to be upheld and for the digital services to respect and value the work of the creators who make their platforms possible." - NMPA President & CEO David Israelite
Many songwriters and musicians felt the initial ruling was a big win because it would put more money in their pockets while gouging the streaming companies and ultimately the consumers.