Ministry of Sound sues Spotify over 'copied playlists'

Ministry of Sound (MoS), the global entertainment business, has launched legal action against music streaming service Spotify for making available playlists of songs that resemble Ministry of Sound compilations.

According to MoS, the playlists, compiled by users of its service, copy “well-known” Ministry of Sound albums.

“The heart of Ministry of Sound’s recordings business is the painstaking curation of compilation albums. The company contends that the law protects the expertise and creative effort involved in creating compilation albums that have helped millions of music fans worldwide discover new genres, recordings and catalogues,” MoS said in a statement.

In contrast, the compilation albums brand 'NOW That's What I Call Music!' works with Spotify, and has developed an app specifically for the service that allows users to create playlists based on NOW's back catalogue.

According to MoS, it first raised its concerns with Spotify last year, when it became aware of the inclusion of the playlists. It asked Spotify to remove the playlists, but the music streaming service refused to do so, it alleged.

In its claim, MoS is seeking a declaration that Spotify has infringed its compilations copyright, an injunction requiring the streaming service to remove the playlists and to permanently exclude all playlists that are copies of MoS compilations. The company is also seeking damages and costs.

Lohan Presencer, CEO of Ministry of Sound Group, said: “After several rounds of legal letters, this dispute will now be settled in court. We believe we have a clear cut case.

"After 20 years and more than 50 million album sales, the value and creativity in our compilations are self-evident. We aim to ensure that our creativity is protected and respected.”

The legal proceedings were issued in the High Court on 2 September 2013.

Spotify declined to comment due to “ongoing litigation”.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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