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News April 1, 2022

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek to Be Deposed Over Eminem Copyright Lawsuit

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek to Be Deposed Over Eminem Copyright Lawsuit

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek will be deposed in the upcoming Eminem copyright infringement trial. 

As reported by Billboard, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffery S. Frensley has ruled that Ek must sit for depositions in the copyright lawsuit over the rapper’s music. Ek’s argument that he’s not personally involved in “day-to-day” licensing operations was dismissed.

Spotify attempted to suggest that their CEO had minimal information to provide about the lawsuit and that Eight Mile Style simply wished to drag Ek into a deposition in order to “harass and annoy” him.

“Undoubtedly Mr. Ek has a full schedule [and] the Court credits Spotify’s assertion that he is very busy indeed,” Judge Frensley stated. “Yet, the issue of proper licensing relationships with the artists whose work comprises the entirety of Spotify’s business and its sole product is surely also a matter of importance to Spotify, worthy of some of Mr. Ek’s time and attention.”

Eight Mile Style filed the copyright lawsuit back in 2019, claiming that Spotify had streamed Eminem’s music “billions of times” without first obtaining the proper licenses. While the passage of the Music Modernisation Act the previous year was supposed to fix that issue, Eight Mile Style insisted Spotify had ignored that law’s requirements.

Prior to this week’s ruling, the company had sought a protective order that would have protected Ek from facing any depositions. Judge Frensley, however, wasn’t having it: “The Court is inclined to agree with plaintiffs that ‘Mr. Ek’s entire argument for burden is, essentially, that he is busy.'”

Some concessions were made though. In order to “minimize the likely annoyance to Mr. Ek and the disruption of his schedule,” Judge Frenlsey ruled that Ek could be deposed for no more than 3 hours. The hearing will also be held remotely.

The trial is currently set to take place in September 2023, while it’s still unclear when exactly Ek will be deposed.


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