Spotify and Amazon Take On Court of Appeals To Fight Against Rate Hike For Songwriters

Spotify, Amazon, Google, and Pandora are set to make their case at the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the 2018 decision made by the Copyright Royalty Board. The board previously approved of a 44% pay rate increase for songwriters whose music is streamed via those platforms. Now, the platforms are going back to court.

Attorneys for Amazon and Spotify will present their cases this Tuesday. Absent from the four filed appeals is Apple Music, according to Variety.

In an official statement by Spotify, the digital music service acknowledged artists and songwriters have to make a living. The 2018 decision made by CRB does not account the cost from rights for videos and lyrics.

Spotify said, "The CRB judges set the new publishing rates by assuming that record labels would react by reducing their licensing rates, but their assumption is incorrect. However, we are willing to support an increase in songwriter royalties provided the license encompasses the right scope of publishing rights."

On March 9, National Music Publishers' Association president/CEO David Israelite released an official statement, "This week a historic trial that affects every songwriter begins in Washington, D.C. Two of the largest streaming services in the world are challenging a ruling that gave songwriters a 44%+ raise."

"While this raise was a step forward, it still fell far short of what songwriters deserve, and yet Spotify and Amazon have found this modest increase too much to pay to the very people on whom they depend. All creators and artists should be watching what happens in this unprecedented appeal," said Israelite.

How to Listen to Your Spotify Wrapped
In this photo illustration, the logo of the Swedish music streaming service Spotify is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on January 06, 2017, in Paris, France. Spotify Released its annual Spotify Wrappeed section for listeners on December 5, 2019. Chesnot/Getty Images

On January 27, 2018, the Copyright Royalty Board decided to increase the songwriter rates for interactive streaming. The original ruling sided with the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters' Association International.Songwriters were hoping for a per-stream rate, while the other streaming companies were arguing to reduce the pay rates.The pay rate decided upon would be based on a percentage of revenue and the total amount of content costs; per Variety.

Amazon has not immediately responded to Newsweek for comment.