The popular music streaming site and app is facing claims of copyright infringement by famed Californian rock and roll photographer Neil Zlozower over its alleged use of a photograph of the American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe on its web player.
Zlozower has filed a copyright infringement claim in New York against Spotify claiming that Spotify have used his photograph without his permission. As part of the claim Zlozower alleges that “Spotify used the photograph to benefit from Zlozower’s reputation around the world. Zlozower also alleges that as Spotify had not sought his permission to use the photo/been granted a licence by him that this constitutes wilful infringement of his copyright rights and that Spotify has generated huge profits as a result of its wilful infringement.
Zlozower is seeking damages from Spotify for their wilful infringement and any profits made by photo as a result of their unauthorised use of his photograph. He is also seeking statutory damages of up to $150,000.
Copyright is an intellectual property right that under UK law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangements of published editions, rights to control the ways in which their works may be used by third parties.
There are similar copyright laws in place all across the world, although the nuances do vary from jurisdiction.
We will wait to see the outcome of this case but the key takeaway point is if you are thinking of using creative content that you have not created that you should think carefully about the ramifications of doing so and seek expert legal advice. Conversely, if you are a creative you should seek legal advice about what you can do to try and protect your valuable intellectual property rights from abuse by third parties.
Briffa is a boutique intellectual property law firm based in the Business Design Centre in Islington. We specialist in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property law and practice, and we help our clients by helping them to identify, protect, commercialise and enforce their valuable intellectual property assets. Feel free to drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 020 7288 6003 of you would like to book a free 30 minute consultation.