UK songwriter society sues SoundCloud over copyright

August 29, 2015

The Financial Times is reporting that Britain’s largest music copyright collective PRS for Music has sued SoundCloud for copyright infringement, saying the online audio-streaming firm did not agree on a licensing deal.


The newspaper said PRS for Music, which represents about 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, said it had “no alternative” but to sue SoundCloud for copyright infringement since the music service refused to agree to a licensing deal.

“Following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud,” the society wrote in a letter to its members.

SoundCloud said the PRS action was regrettable but declined to comment further on how it would defend the legal action.

SoundCloud released a statement: “It is regrettable that PRS appears to be following this course of action in the midst of an active commercial negotiation with SoundCloud.

“We believe this approach does not serve the best interests of any of the parties involved, in particular the members of the PRS, many of whom are active users of our platform and who rely on it to share their work and communicate with their fan base.”

The statement added: “SoundCloud is a platform by creators, for creators. No one in the world is doing more to enable creators to build and connect with their audience while protecting the rights of creators, including PRS members.

“We are working hard to create a platform where all creators can be paid for their work, and already have deals in place with thousands of copyright owners, including record labels, publishers and independent artists.”

Last year, SoundCloud was close to a deal with major record labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group for licenses to continue playing their songs and avoid potential legal disputes. But recent media reports have indicated problems with the firm’s agreements with the record labels.