The Performing Rights Society for Music is taking legal action against SoundCloud for illegally streaming its members’ music. It seems as though SoundCloud never purchased the license to stream the music and hasn’t done so in five years of back and forth between the two.
The way the PRS works is that it represents publishers and artists by working at a buffer between them and different companies and platforms seeking to use the music. It issues licenses to use the music then gets the royalties back to the artists and labels.
While SoundCloud has regularly paid artists and labels, the PRS says that without the license the platform isn’t taking the right route. The agency said it sent SoundCloud a notice to remove 4,500 songs from artists it represents.
“SoundCloud decided to respond to our claim by informing us that it had removed 250 posts,” the PRS said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have no visibility or clarity on SoundCloud’s approach to removing works, so it is not currently clear why these particular posts have been selected by them given the wider issue of infringement that is occurring.”
While the PRS says that the purpose of the suit is mainly to set a precedent so there are no problems with this in the future, SoundCloud told The Verge said that the two sides were trying to iron out details when the PRS went ahead with legal action.
Updated 8/28/15: Spotify was originally named throughout the article, it is SoundCloud that is named in the suit.