The National Music Publishers Association *really* isn’t happy about Spotify’s recent blog post defending its decision to appeal the new songwriter royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalties Board.
The NMPA published a ‘fact check’ on Spotify’s post yesterday, contrasting what it called “Spotify spin” with the “truth” about the dispute. “Simple question for Spotify – do you want to reduce or eliminate the rate increase? If the answer is anything but an unqualified ‘no’, then all songwriters should see right through Spotify’s attempt to divert and distract,” claimed the NMPA. “Spotify claims songwriters deserve to be paid more, but Spotify fought in the CRB to cut rates, and now Spotify is fighting in an appeal to prevent the rate increase ordered by the CRB.”
The NMPA also claims that Spotify’s argument that the new rate doesn’t include rights for video and lyrics is misleading, because “the CRB has no authority” over those rights: “If Spotify wants the video and lyric rights of songwriters, Spotify knows it has to negotiate for those rights in a free market, on TOP of the Section 115 compulsory rate.”
The tone is clear: “There is spin, and then there is black and white falsehood,” claimed the NMPA, before warning “this fight has just started”.
We can’t help noticing the silence of the other streaming services who are appealing the new rates: Spotify has been the only one to put its case publicly (beyond the original joint statement), and is thus now the punchbag for publishers’ anger at the appeal.