New lawsuits against Apple on Wednesday say the company is violating US copyright law for broadcasting music on copyright-protected Apple Music.
Submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Pro Music Rights, the case focuses on unpaid royalties and pending infringements relating to 15 recorded copyrights covering a series of songs.
PMR is a for-profit, copyright-based organization founded by young Jake P. Noch, a “music industry prodigy” and currently the sole partner of the company. With an estimated 7.4% market share, PMR has the right to license approximately two million songs from top artists including A $ AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Nipsey Hussle, 2 Chainz, Migos, Gucci Mane and Fall Out Boy.
According to the complaint, Apple would broadcast and continue to broadcast a selection of copyrighted music without having reached an agreement for the payment of public reproduction costs. Most of the recordings listed in the lawsuit were produced by Noch, although tracks from other artists such as OG Maco and Lance Lee and smaller catalogs from Noch’s Sosa Entertainment and Brazy Records are also listed.
In June 2018, PMR sent a letter informing Apple that it had to acquire a license to publicly perform music in its catalog. Three months later, the Music Licensing Division of Music Reports, on behalf of Apple, responded by stating that the tech giant had filed a notice of intent to obtain the compulsory license. The company was therefore not seeking a license for public representation. Noch's subsequent attempts to enter into a license and royalty agreement with Apple were rejected.
The lawsuit does not explain where or how Apple publicly performed copyrighted music, only suggesting that streaming to Apple Music customers is considered a violation. In the lawsuit against Apple, PMR claims all income associated with the reproduction of the infringed works, damages for $ 150,000 for each violation and payment of legal fees.