Microsoft settles music royalties lawsuit over lack of Groove Music payments

Vu Anh Nguyen

Musicians’ frequent clashes with music streaming services have made headlines in recent times – Taylor Swift’s stance against Apple Music and Spotify being the most prominent – and Microsoft, with its Groove Music service (rebranded from Xbox Music) is not exempt from litigations, one of which has been settled out-of-court, reports The Register UK.

The litigants in the mentioned case are drummer David Lowery and his music publisher, Yesh Music, who sued Microsoft over unpaid mechanical royalties for streamed songs. Mechanical licenses are explained as license to use the song or composition, different from the usual Master Recording License which only gives clearance over the physical sound recordings. Microsoft has reportedly already obtained the latter, but not the former, which was the cause for litigation.

Courtesy of Digital Music News.
Courtesy of Digital Music News.

The notable thing about the case is that it’s not just Microsoft who is, or was, under fire: other targets include heavyweights like Google, Deezer, Slacker, Tidal and Rdio. With Microsoft now out of the war, the focus will shift to these other companies, and Google and co. may have a hard time ahead. The litigants, Yesh Music in particular, are also notable for having a track record of cases against big players of the industry, including Spotify.