Spotify has filed a third party claim in a federal court in Tennessee against Kobalt Music Publishing, alleging that the company is at fault in a copyright dispute over 243 Eminem songs, including the Grammy- and Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself."
The filing stems from a lawsuit initiated in August 2019 by Eight Mile Style, the publisher of the Eminem songs in question, against Spotify, which alleged the streaming service was engaging in willful copyright infringement by hosting these hundreds of songs on its platform. The suit, which also targeted the Music Modernization Act, claimed that Spotify did not have a license to reproduce the songs and had "not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams."
In Spotify’s filing late Friday (May 29), the streaming service places the fault on Kobalt, which has an administration deal with Eight Mile Style (with which Eminem is not affiliated) to license and account for the publisher’s songs. Spotify says Kobalt led the streaming service to believe that Eight Mile Style’s songs were included in the direct licensing agreement between the two companies and that it has been paying royalties to Kobalt for the past nine years on streams of those songs, which it believed Kobalt was in turn paying to Eight Mile Style. Additionally, Spotify says the terms of its licensing agreement with Kobalt indemnifies the streamer against third party claims of infringement.