Business News Digital Labels & Publishers Legal

Spotify settles Sosa dispute

By | Published on Thursday 25 March 2021


Spotify has seemingly settled its legal battle with American independent music firm Sosa Entertainment, meaning a dispute that resulted in some very tough talking from both sides will not now get to court. Which is no fun at all.

Let’s delay the end of fun by reminding ourselves of some of the more entertaining tough talking that occurred earlier in this case. Sosa founder “Jake Noch is a fraudster who has engaged in a multi-year campaign to generate artificial streams”, said Spotify. Those claims are “laughable and blatantly false” Noch fired back, before musing that Spotify’s business “is built on the theft of intellectual property” and that “I foresee Spotify becoming the next Enron”.

Ah, happy days. So much more fun than, “we notify the court of the settlement of all claims in this matter by a settlement agreement and release”. Don’t they know that after a year of virtual lockdown, we all need these entertainingly bitter legal battles all the more?

Anyway, Sosa sued Spotify in 2019 accusing the streaming firm of “unfair and deceptive practices” because of its decision to remove the label’s catalogue from its platform. That move, Sosa said, also resulted in it losing its membership of indie label digital rights group Merlin.

Spotify then countersued in May last year, arguing that it dropped the Sosa catalogue because it suspected the label – and Noch – of fraudulently manipulating streams of that music in order to boost its share of the monthly royalties pot.

The first sign that all this had moved into tedious settlement talks came in January when both sides asked the court to pause the litigation for 60 days “to allow the parties to attempt to negotiate a resolution of this matter”. Those 60 days ended last week and the court automatically restarted the case, but then yesterday a new legal filing confirmed that a settlement deal had been reached.

That legal filing says in full: “Plaintiff/counterclaim defendant Sosa Entertainment LLC and counterclaim/third-party defendant Jake P Noch, and defendants Spotify AB and Spotify USA Inc, pursuant to Local Rule 3.09(a), hereby notify the court of the settlement of all claims in this matter by a settlement agreement and release. The parties expect to file their joint stipulation for the dismissal of this case, with prejudice, on or before 7 May 2021”.

And so, pending last minute wobbles, it seems this dispute is at an end. Needless to say, terms of the settlement are not currently known.