Earlier today, Apple hit back against Spotify’s EU antitrust complaint in a press release, saying Spotify “wants all the benefits of a free app without being free.” The statement features the expected rebuttals to Spotify’s claims about how Apple uses the App Store to boost Apple Music, but there’s something interesting at the bottom: a jab against Spotify that is completely unrelated to the EU fight. “Just this week,” the Apple release reads, “Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) required Spotify to increase its royalty payments.” This line is obviously intended to cast Spotify as a bad overall actor, and Apple as a friend of artists that should be defended. It’s not a bad tactic, since artists and Spotify have long had a testy relationship. But the truth is, of course, a little more complicated than that. The idea that Spotify is suing songwriters comes from David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA), who referred to Spotify’s appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board rate-setting process as a “shameful decision” in a Variety article last week. “When the Music Modernization Act became law, there was hope it signaled a new day of improved relations between digital music services and songwriters,” Israelite said in a statement. “That hope was snuffed out today when Spotify and Amazon decided to sue songwriters in a shameful attempt to cut their payments by nearly one-third.” But as The Verge has pointed out, none of these… [Read full story]
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