Why Songwriters Are Now Praising Apple Music Over Its Competitors

Apple Music Credit: The Verge
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Songwriters and music publishers are commending Apple for not taking part in an effort to fight a recent ruling that would increase songwriting royalties.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board ruled in a split decision to increase songwriter streaming royalties by 44 percent. Under the decision, streaming platforms would be required to pay songwriters and publishers 15.1 percent of revenue (instead of the current 10.5 percent rate).

Now, Variety reports that Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon have come together to appeal the ruling. In a statement from Spotify, Google and Pandora, the coalition of streaming giants said that the manner in which the ruling was made “raises serious procedural and substantive concerns.”

“If left to stand, the CRB’s decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision,” the statement continued.

All four tech giants filed their appeals to the court separately.

If you feel like there’s a major streaming platform missing from the coalition, you’d be right. Variety notes that Apple Music is, alone, the only major streaming platform that hasn’t appealed — and furthermore, has no plans to appeal the decision.

According to the publication, songwriter organizations are “rushing to heap praise on Apple while condemning the seemingly unified front of the other digital companies.”

National Music Publishers’ Association CEO David Israelite previously said that a unified appeal by digital giants would be tantamount to “declaring war” on the songwriting community. He equated the tech giants to “bullies who do not respect or value the songwriters who make their businesses possible.”

Israelite personally commended the Cupertino tech giant for not appealing the decision, while simultaneously slamming Spotify and Amazon for doing just the opposite.

“We thank Apple Music for accepting the CRB decision and continuing to be a friend to songwriters,” he said. “While Spotify and Amazon surely hope this will play out in a quiet appellate courtroom, every songwriter and every fan of music should stand up and take notice.”

Previously, the CRB decision was thought to be a boon for major tech firms. While tech giants have other services to rely on, the decision could stifle the ability for smaller streaming platforms to compete, The Wall Street Journal pointed out back in January.

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