Claiming works through the MLC Portal instead of the Future Royalty Payments Program Website offers class members significant advantages, including the following:
- The MLC Portal permits class members to obtain mechanical royalties from all digital music providers, including Spotify;
- Class members who do not claim their works through the MLC Portal cannot count on being paid by the MLC for usage on Spotify from January 1, 2021 onwards;
- Class members who do not claim their works through the MLC Portal may be missing an opportunity to collect royalties for streaming by all providers;
- Under the Music Modernization Act, royalties for usage on Spotify that occurs after January 1, 2021, must be claimed from the MLC Portal;
- The MLC Portal permits class members to obtain both ongoing royalties and royalties dating back to when the MLC last redistributed royalties for unmatched works to other copyright owners (which is not expected to occur until 2024 or later);
- Class members who use the MLC Portal to claim their works do not need to submit a Spotify-only claim through the Future Royalty Payments Program Website; and
- Spotify will assist class members who have claimed works not subject to a dispute using the MLC Portal but have been unable to receive royalties (click here to contact a special liaison provided by Spotify).
If, despite the significant advantages of claiming works through the MLC Portal, you still would like to claim works through the Spotify-only Future Royalty Payments Program Website, further information on the Future Royalty Payments Program Website is set out below.
Please Note: If you submitted a valid claim for your works through the Future Royalty Payments Program Website on or before December 31, 2020, your information concerning works not subject to a dispute has been provided to the MLC. If you submitted your works through the Future Royalty Payments Program Website on January 1, 2021 or later, then your information has not been provided to the MLC.
If you are the owner of a copyright that has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office (or for which an application for registration has been filed) for a musical composition that Spotify USA Inc. (“Spotify”) made available for interactive streaming and/or limited downloading between December 28, 2012 and June 29, 2017, and you contend that Spotify did so without a license, you might be eligible to receive ongoing statutory mechanical royalties through the Future Royalty Payments Program pursuant to a class action settlement with Spotify.
Please note that if you previously submitted a timely Valid Claim Form for payment from the Settlement Fund, you will automatically be enrolled in the Future Royalty Payments Program with respect to the tracks you validly claimed that embody your Claimed Musical Works. If so, you do not need to submit a Royalty Claim Form to receive mechanical royalties for those tracks. However, you may submit a Royalty Claim Form if you wish to identify additional tracks embodying your musical works in order to receive mechanical royalties for those tracks. In addition, Settlement Class Members who did not submit a Valid Claim Form for payment from the Settlement Fund are eligible to participate in the Future Royalty Payments Program.
As noted above, class members are strongly encouraged to claim their works through the MLC Portal. If you fail to claim your works through the MLC Portal by 2024 and learn that the MLC already distributed historical royalties for your work(s) to another rightsholder pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 115(d)(3)(J), you may submit a claim through the Future Royalty Payments Program for royalties from Spotify for usage between June 29, 2017, and December 31, 2020.
OVERVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT
On May 26, 2017, the parties entered into a settlement resolving a class action lawsuit alleging that Spotify made certain musical compositions available on its service without a license. The two sides disagree about whether Spotify engaged in any wrongdoing and whether it is subject to any liability. The Court has not decided which side is right. To view the Settlement in its entirety click here.
On June 29, 2017 the Court issued an Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement. The Court held a fairness hearing on December 1, 2017.
On May 22, 2018, the Court entered an Order and Final Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement. There have been five appeals filed after the Court's order was entered on May 22, 2018, all of which have since been resolved.
On April 15, 2019, the Court’s order finally approving the settlement became the Final Order and Judgment. Because all appeals were dismissed and no certiorari petitions were filed after the last appeal was dismissed, the Effective Date of the settlement is April 15, 2019.
Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the deadline to submit a settlement Claim Form elapsed on December 11, 2019. We are no longer able to accept new settlement Claim Forms for a payment from the Settlement Fund. Even if you did not submit a valid Claim Form for payment from the Settlement Fund, you may still be eligible to participate in the Future Royalty Payments Program. Nevertheless, for the reasons detailed above, you are strongly encouraged to claim works through the MLC Portal.
If, despite the significant advantages of claiming works through the MLC Portal, you still would like to claim works through the Spotify-only Future Royalty Payments Program, the online Royalty Claim Form is available here and Paper Royalty Claim Forms are also available for download here.
On May 26, 2020, checks constituting Settlement Payments were mailed to Authorized Claimants. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. You can read about how the Settlement Payments were calculated in the Settlement Agreement, beginning on page 31, paragraph 3.5 - Allocation of Net Settlement Fund. Please click here for a copy of the Settlement Agreement. If you have any questions about your Settlement Payment, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-855-474-3853 or P.O. Box 3560, Portland, OR 97208-3560.
Notice To National Music Publishers’ Association ("NMPA") Members
If you are an NMPA member and a party to a Participating Publisher Pending and Unmatched Usage Agreement entered into in 2016, in accordance with the March 17, 2016 Pending and Unmatched Usage Agreement between Spotify and the NMPA, you are excluded from the Settlement Class (and therefore cannot participate in the Future Royalty Payments Program). Please see the Settlement Notice for the complete list of exclusions from the Settlement Class.
Your rights—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained on this website and on the Settlement Notice.