Spotify pulls Victory Records catalog due to royalty dispute

Victory Records’ catalog of music was pulled from Spotify this week as a result of Spotify not properly paying publishing revenues due to Victory Records’ artists in blatant violation of US Copyright laws. Spotify also pulled down a very large number of albums that Victory is not the publisher for proving that their internal systems are inadequate.

“We asked that our catalog not be pulled, that we would amicably work with Spotify, and they haphazardly removed our content regardless. 53,000,000 streams, as per Spotify’s statements, were identified with no publishing royalties being paid by Spotify,” the label said in a statement.

“Late [Monday], Spotify sent over a document giving them mechanical clearance to use our music. We could not sign said document for a variety of reasons, most importantly, that it would put us in direct violation of our agreement with Audiam. Spotify knows we are in business with Audiam and were essentially asking us to breach/ignore that agreement. The issue of nonpayment for songwriters and composers is a widespread problem and not exclusive to Victory Records’ artists. We understand your frustration with not being able to listen to the music you enjoy (and most pay for via subscription).

“The bottom line is that artists and songwriters are not being paid and fans of Victory’s artists cannot listen to the music.

Thank you for your support and we remain hopeful that Spotify will do the right thing.”

Victory Records is one of the most successful independent labels of the past 20 years and is credited with discovering artists such as Taking Back Sunday, Hawthorne Heights and Atreyu, among others. The label joins a long list of labels and artists who have had issues with the streaming company. In November 2014, Big Machine Label Group pulled Taylor Swift’s entire catalog from the service because of their practices.

“The problem we have with Spotify is that they don’t allow you to do anything with your music,” Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta states. “They take it and they say, ‘We’re gonna put it everywhere we want to put it and we really don’t care about what you want to do. Give us everything you have and we’re going to do what we want with it’, and that doesn’t work for us.”

“The problem we have with Spotify is that they don’t allow you to do anything with your music.”

Def Leppard, now an independent artist from their former Universal Music Group umbrella, has excluded much of their catalog from the service, as well. Guitarist Phil Collen sides with Big Machine and Swift comparing Spotify to Napster’s early years and “getting ripped off.”

“I love what Taylor Swift has done. I have a friend who is a songwriter, and he had a song that got over a million plays on Spotify, and he received 12 pounds, about $18-$19. That really sums it up. It’s bad, if not worse, than the whole Napster thing and downloading when it started,” Collen states.

He continues, “Again, a CEO from [Spotify] would make an amazing profit, whereas the artist is taken advantage of. I’m not a fan of that. I don’t know where [Def Leppard] stand in the future, but perhaps it would be good to do something else. When they show their true colors, you go, ‘Well, it’s the same old story again,’ like some old blues guy getting $50 and actually owing his whole catalog for life to someone who’s ripped him off. It’s a little like that. It happens all the time with artists, Michelangelo or whomever, back in the day. William Blake died penniless doing brass etchings, living on someone’s floor. A businessman will probably think an artist is just content with the art. It’s a bummer getting ripped off.”

Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, Garth Brooks, Prince, AC/DC, Bob Seger and Tool are among the artists who have pulled or haven’t allowed their music to be streamed on Spotify.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.