Lewis Black urges Spotify to remove his content – Billboard

Comedian Lewis Black is calling Spotify to delete his stuff between a licensing dispute between the streaming service and hundreds of comics.

Black’s request is answered by Spotify removed on November 24 among the many comedy recordings it offers, including work by big comedy stars like Mike Birbiglia, John Mulaney and Jeff Foxworthy. The streaming giant is currently battling with collection agencies Spoken Giants and Word Collections over whether comedians and theater artists should receive royalties for basic works as well as sound recordings. theirs or not.

“I believe the words that go into the making of songs or comedies should be equally appreciated,” Black said in a statement to Billboards. “Comedy is an art form that starts at the front page before moving on to the stage. As in composing, the creative process is mysterious and unique to each creator. Writing is the essence of our livelihood. If it is not taken seriously, it cannot grow. Writers’ royalties, which are a fundamental source of revenue in music, help sustain the next generation of creators so they can continue to create. So it should be with comedy. ”


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As previous report, every sound recording includes two copyrights – the sound recording itself, as well as the copyright of the song being performed – a verbal performance that includes the sound recording but also a potential literary work. hidden. Copyright in that literary work, like a song, includes elements of a performance that one can write down on a piece of paper. In comedy, this refers to written jokes – not the concepts behind them, but the way they are worded.

A Spotify spokesperson said at the time, “Spotify has paid a substantial amount for the content in question and is keen to continue to do so. However, because Spoken Giants is contesting the rights that different licensors have, the labels that distribute this content, Spotify, and Spoken Giants must work together to resolve this issue to ensure this content remains. available to fans around the globe. ”

Part of Black’s content was removed from Spotify on November 24, but some of his material – including his 2020 album, Thanks for risking your life – currently featured on the streaming service. Thanks for risking your life To be Nominated for best comedy album at the upcoming 2022 Grammy Awards. The comedian previously won in the category for Concert at Carnegie Hall (2006) and Stark Raving Black (2010).

“It’s punk rock when a Grammy-nominated icon stands with his community and says, ‘Put me down until everyone supports’, even as Grammy voters are reviewing the work. nominated and vote,” said Jim King, a former BMI executive turned CEO of Spoken Giants, in a statement. “Like us, Mr. Black is urging Spotify to return to the table. on writers’ royalties.”

King continued, “We want comedians to benefit from the exposure Spotify provides and to earn royalties on the work they write, which is the basis of every great comedy performance. Nobody wants to lose Spotify as a platform, we just want to establish that prewritten comedies have value. ”

Black and King recently discussed a licensing dispute with Spotify during a segment above BBC World News. See the interview below.

https://www.billboard.com/business/streaming/lewis-black-spotify-licensing-dispute-1235008500/ Lewis Black urges Spotify to remove his content – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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