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Also at the Copyright & Technology conference, one panel session spent most of its time chewing over the implications of Ministry of Sound’s decision to sue Spotify for copyright infringement in some of its user-generated playlists. The conclusions: past cases involving horse races and football fixtures don’t provide clear guidance on Ministry’s chances; and that the lawsuit has a whiff of a commercial dispute that might not be going to court if the two sides could have aligned their business interests. BBC Archives’ Mo McRoberts made a good point when he suggested that Spotify playlists apeing Ministry of Sound compilations may have been an inevitable accident due to users’ habits of bookmarking albums they own as playlists for quick access on the go. “If you’ve imported your iTunes collection and you’ve got Ministry of Sound albums there because you’ve bought them, and you want to listen to them on your iPhone, you’ll almost certainly create a playlist out of them, and you’ll have a playlist named after a Ministry of Sound album,” he said. “And playlists nowadays are pretty much shared by default, and they’ll show up on search results. And all of these things individually are good things, but put them all together, and you’ll get the CEO of Ministry of Sound being quite unhappy.”

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