Apple accused of streaming copyrighted songs without permission on Apple Music

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What you need to know

  • Licensing company PMR is suing Apple Music.
  • The company claims Apple is streaming copyrighted music on Apple Music without obtaining proper licenses.
  • It also makes claims for unpaid royalties over public performance.

A music licensing company is suing apple over claims it has violated U.S. Copyright law by streaming music it has not obtained licenses for.

PMR, a performing rights organization founded and run by 20-year-old Jake P. Noch, claims Apple has previously streamed and continues to stream copyrighted music without having obtained a license for it, or entering into an agreement for payment of public peformance royalities.

According to Apple Insider:

Most of the named recordings were authored by Noch, though music from at least two other artists — OG Maco and Lance Lee — are listed as infringed. Relatively small catalogs from Noch's Sosa Entertainment and Brazy Records are also included in the claimed infringed material.

The report notes that PMR previously sent Apple a letter in June of 2018, demanding that Apple acquire licenses to publicly perform protected music. Apple responded through the Statutory Licensing Division of Music Reports, stating it had filed a notice of intent to obtain a compulsory license.

The report notes that there is no indication as to how or where Apple has performed the music publicly, as is purported in the suit, such that it must refer to the streaming of muisc to customers through Apple Music as an infringement. The company filed a similar suit against Spotify claiming royalties of $1 billion on more than 500 million streams.

The company owns rights to license about two million works, including music by A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, 2 Chainz and Fall Out Boy.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9