All TuneCore-distributed music has been removed from the Amazon MP3 store in the European Union and the United Kingdom as of January 24 because of an ongoing dispute concerning non-payment of royalties, according to TuneCore CEO Jeff Price.
In a TuneCore blog post dated Feb. 1, entitled "Why Your Music is Currently Unavailable in AmazonMP3 in the EU and the UK," Price explains how TuneCore's agreement with Amazon EU and UK expired.
"Although we fully intended to renew, TuneCore also had to address the fact that over the course of the agreement, Amazon had not been paying TuneCore Artists to license their songs for download in a significant number of the recordings distributed," Price wrote.
TuneCore is a digital distribution company that helps artists sell their music online while allowing them to keep their licensing and royalties.
"We felt this put TuneCore in a position where if we renewed with Amazon in this territory without sorting out the position regarding all the rights involved, it would be contrary to TuneCore's core business philosophy and purpose: getting artists and songwriters paid all the royalties they are owed."
Price calls Amazon's move to remove the songs without notice "heavy-handed" but is continuing to work with the online retailer to resolve the dispute."
"I really am hopeful that Amazon is simply working through the issue and will have the recordings back up shortly, and will get the licenses needed and make the payments required," he writes.
"However, our end game one way or another is facilitating the proper and complete royalty payments to TuneCore Artists and songwriters."
Price ends the blog by encouraging TuneCore's clients to make sure they let their fans know that their music is available in the EU and UK through iTunes.
The blog post that follows is entitled "The Rules All Digital Music Services Must Follow And To Whom They Must Pay Royalties In Order To Sell Music In Their Stores" and goes into further detail about the licenses sites such as Amazon must obtain and royalty rates and collection agencies.
Amazon could not be reached for comment at press time.