On 7th December 2018, an American photographer Neil Zlozower accused Spotify, a music streaming service of Copyright infringement.
He filed this suit at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to the suit, the streaming service used his photograph on their web player without any permission. The alleged photograph is of Mötley Crüe, an American rock band, taken by Zlozower.
Neil Zlozower is a renowned photographer and his photographs are very popular in the media. He shot for the covers of magazines like ‘‘Guitar Player’’, ‘‘Kerrang!’’, and ‘‘Rolling Stone’’.
He also worked with numerous artists such as David Bowie, Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones etc. According to the suit, Spotify used Zlozower’s photograph of American rock band Mötley Crüe for the group’s artist page. However, they did not obtain any license or permission from Neil Zlozower before using it. The suit further claimed that the streaming service infringed the copyright wilfully.
According to the suit, Spotify used the photograph to benefit from Zlozower’s reputation around the world. Spotify did not obtain any license or permission to reproduce, reuse Neil Zlozower’s photographs for any purpose. The streaming service generated huge profits by such wilful infringement.
This is not the first time that Spotify has been accused of copyright infringement by high profile personalities. Zlozower alleged in his suit, that the infringement is wilful and it has cost him negatively. Therefore, he is seeking damages and any profits gained by Spotify by using his photograph. He is also seeking statutory damages of up to $150,000, and additional costs. The verdict of this case is yet to be disclosed.