Early last year, the U.S Copyright Royalty Board ruled that songwriters royalties on digital streaming platforms would increase from 10.5% to 15.1% over the next 5 years, to make the amount made by songwriters more fair in relation to the publisher and record label.
But now a bunch of the top streaming platforms are fighting back against the decision, claiming that the increase will have substatial negative impact on their businesses.
Spotify in particular is in the firing line from some top songwriters including Nile Rodgers, Ludwig Göransson, Frank Dukes, Greg Kurstin, Vinylz, and Bibi Bourelly. Back in 2017, Spotify launched it's 'Secret Genuis Awards' annual event, which was to honour songwriters and producers behind some of Spotify's most-played songs - and these writers were some of the honourees.
In an open letter addressed specifically to the Spotify CEO Deniel Ek, they express their outrage over Spotify's decision to appeal the change. The letter reads:
"We’re hurt and disappointed. You created a songwriter relations team and ingratiated Spotify into our community. We know that you are not the only DSP appealing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rate determination. You are, however, the only provider that made us feel we were working to build a modern music industry together. Now, we can see the real reason for your songwriter outreach. You have used us and tried to divide us but we stand together."
"Do the right thing and drop your appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board rate determination."
The letter signs off: "Not So Secret Geniuses".
You can read the full letter below: