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Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash Credit: Wesley Tingey

Music publishers have been battling against concert-recordings service Wolfgang’s Vault for a long time now.

The US-based National Music Publishers Association sued the company in 2015 accusing it of “systemic copyright infringement”. In 2020, publishers were awarded $189.5k in damages – far below the statutory rate – with that ruling upheld on appeal in 2022.

The publishers have been seeking to take their appeal to the US Supreme Court, in an effort to hold Wolfgang’s Vault directly liable for copyright infringement. However, this week the court turned them down, declining to hear the appeal.

Is this the end of the road for the legal action? Wolfgang’s Vault continues to operate its live concert-streaming service, charging $3.99 a month for access to thousands of recordings from gigs and festivals, focusing on classic rock, blues, jazz and country.

According to Reuters, the publishers’ latest appeal was supported by music industry bodies but also the film industry’s Motion Picture Association.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight