Two years after settling a massive lawsuit over music, Peloton is facing a new copyright case that claims it’s again using unlicensed tunes during workout classes, this time from one of the original members of Cypress Hill.
In a complaint filed last week in Los Angeles federal court, a company called Soul Assassins Inc. — owned by ex-Cypress Hill DJ Lawrence Muggerud aka DJ Muggs — claimed that Peloton had used “Insane in the Brain,” “(Rap) Superstar” and other hits without paying for Muggerud’s portions of the rights.
And his lawyers made a point to say that Peloton ought to know better by now.
“Peloton’s use of [the songs] in its work-out videos without a license from Soul Assassins is an outrageous, willful infringement because Peloton was sued by a group of music publishers in March of 20019 for doing the exact same thing,” Muggerud’s lawyers wrote in their July 25 complaint. “Clearly … Peloton knew unequivocally that it had no right to use any musical composition in its exercise videos without first obtaining a license for one hundred percent of the song.”
Muggerud also said Peloton had used House of Pain’s iconic hit “Jump Around,” a song he produced and co-owns with a 40% songwriting stake.
Amid its meteoric rise, Peloton was sued in March 2019 by a coalition of music publishers that claimed the startup was using more than 1000 popular songs during workout classes without securing sync licenses. The case cited unlicensed uses of Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Drake, among many others.
“Peloton is a textbook willful infringer,” the publishers wrote. “Peloton fully understood what the copyright law required, having entered into sync licenses with certain other copyright holders, while trampling the rights of Plaintiffs by using their musical works for free and without permission.”
The lawsuit settled in February 2020, with the companies saying they had entered into “a joint collaboration agreement” that would “further optimize Peloton’s music licensing systems and processes.” Peloton said the deal would “ensure that songwriters are, and continue to be, fairly compensated.”
But in the new lawsuit filed last week, Muggerud said those promises had not been kept when it came to his music: “Plaintiff has not granted Peloton any right or license to use the musical compositions.”
Muggerud and Soul Assassins Inc. own portions of the compositions to the songs at issue, like a 50 percent stake in both “Insane in the Brain” and “(Rap) Superstar.” It’s unclear who owns the rest of the publishing rights and if Peloton secured licenses with those owners.
When reached by Billboard, a rep for Peloton declined to comment on pending litigation.
Read the entire complaint here: