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SoundExchange

UPDATED: SoundExchange Files Suit Against Slacker for Unpaid Royalties Owed – $9.7 Million Judgment Ordered

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WASHINGTON, DC (CelebrityAccess) – SoundExchange commented today (October 18) on the United States District Court for the Central District of California’s decision to enter a judgment against Slacker, Inc., and its parent company LiveOne, Inc., in a suit filed by SoundExchange to recover unpaid royalties owed to performers and rights owners.

On Thursday (October 13), the court entered judgment against Slacker and LiveOne in the amount of $9.7 million for unpaid royalties due to performers and rights owners under the US government’s Section 114 sound recording license. In addition, the court permanently barred Slacker and LiveOne from using the statutory license going forward.

The statutory license allows non-interactive digital music streaming services to play music in return for monthly payments at the statutory rate determined by the Copyright Royalty Board. SoundExchange collects statutory payments from more than 3,600 services and distributes monthly royalties to copyright owners, featured recording artists, and non-featured musicians and vocalists.

“SoundExchange takes our role in defending fair compensation for creators seriously. Despite a prior agreement, multiple promises, and repeated negotiations, Slacker and LiveOne failed to pay properly for the music – on which the companies built their business model,” stated Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. “It is regrettable that this step became necessary, but we will not back down when it comes to protecting creators and ensuring they are well-represented and properly paid under the law. We are grateful for the court’s recognition of the value proposition and this judgment in our favor.”

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW: (PUBLISHED JUNE 29, 2022)

WASHINGTON, DC (CelebrityAccess) – SoundExchange, the music tech organization, filed suit today (June 29) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Slacker, Inc. and its parent company LiveOne, Inc. to recover unpaid royalties owed to performers and rights owners.

“By refusing to pay royalties for the use of protected sound recordings, Slacker and LiveOne have directly harmed creators over the years,” stated Michael Huppe, president, and CEO of SoundExchange. “Today, SoundExchange is taking a stand through necessary legal action to protect the value of music and ensure creators are compensated fairly for their work. We hope Slacker and LiveOne will promptly reverse course and pay what they owe for the use of recordings that drive the value of their service.”

Slacker is a digital media company that uses the statutory license for the use of sound recordings on digital radio. In 2017, Slacker stopped paying statutory royalties to creators whose recordings it was using. SoundExchange has been in negotiations with Slacker since that time to resolve their outstanding balance, but Slacker has failed to meet the terms to which the parties agreed. SoundExchange is now filing a complaint for breach of contract and underpayment of statutory royalties.

SoundExchange was independently formed in 2003 to build a simpler and more efficient music industry through technology, data, and advocacy. The only organization designated by the US government to administer the Section 114 sound recording license, SoundExchange collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of 570,000 music creators and growing. Through proprietary music tech solutions that turn data into accurate revenue, SoundExchange has paid more than $9 billion in distributions to date.


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