Record Labels To Pay $45 Million for Pirating Artists’ Music
Over the years the labels have made a habit of using songs from a wide variety of artists for compilation CDs without securing the rights. They simply use the recording and make note of it on “pending list” so they can deal with it later. This has been going on since the 1980s and since then the list of unpaid tracks (or copyright infringements) has grown to 300,000 in Canada alone.
This questionable practice has been the subject of an interesting Canadian class action lawsuit which was started in 2008. A group of artists and composers who grew tired of waiting endlessly for their money filed a lawsuit against four major labels connected to the CRIA, the local equivalent of the RIAA.
Warner Music, Sony BMG Music, EMI Music and Universal Music were sued for the illegal use of thousands of tracks and risked paying damages of up to $6 billion. Today the news broke that the two parties have agreed upon a settlement, where the record labels are required to pay $45 million to settle the copyright infringement claims.