On May 10, 2021, the Court entered an order amending the Settlement Agreement to permit class members to claim their works through the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) Portal rather than the Future Royalty Payments Program Website.
The MLC Portal was established by Congress under the Music Modernization Act to ensure that songwriters and music publishers receive mechanical royalties for songs played on digital music services.
Although songwriters and music publishers in the settlement class may file new claims using the Spotify-only Future Royalty Payments Program Website, class members are strongly encouraged to claim their works through the MLC Portal instead. That portal will permit class members to obtain mechanical royalties from all digital music providers, not just Spotify.
Claiming works through the MLC Portal instead of the Future Royalty Payments Program Website offers class members significant advantages, including the following:
- The MLC Portal permits class members to obtain mechanical royalties from all digital music providers, including Spotify;
- Class members who do not claim their works through the MLC Portal cannot count on being paid by the MLC for usage on Spotify from January 1, 2021 onwards;
- Class members who do not claim their works through the MLC Portal may be missing an opportunity to collect royalties for streaming by all providers;
- Under the Music Modernization Act, royalties for usage on Spotify that occurs after January 1, 2021 must be claimed from the MLC Portal;
- The MLC Portal permits class members to obtain both ongoing royalties and royalties dating back to when the MLC last redistributed royalties for unmatched works to other copyright owners (which is not expected to occur until 2024 or later);
- Class members who use the MLC Portal to claim their works do not need to submit a Spotify-only claim through the Future Royalty Payments Program Website; and
- Spotify will assist class members who have claimed works not subject to a dispute using the MLC Portal but have been unable to receive royalties (click here to contact a special liaison provided by Spotify).
Please Note: If you submitted a valid claim for your works through the Future Royalty Payments Program Website on or before December 31, 2020, your information concerning works not subject to a dispute has been provided to the MLC. If you submitted your works through the Future Royalty Payments Program Website on January 1, 2021 or later, then your information has not been provided to the MLC.
On May 26, 2020, checks constituting Settlement Payments were mailed to Authorized Claimants. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. You can read about how the Settlement Payments were calculated in the Settlement Agreement, beginning on page 31, paragraph 3.5 - Allocation of Net Settlement Fund. Please click here for a copy of the Settlement Agreement. If you have any questions about your Settlement Payment, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-855-474-3853 or P.O. Box 3560, Portland, OR 97208-3560.
Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Future Royalty Payments Program claim period began on March 25, 2020.
Please note that if you previously submitted a timely Valid Claim Form for payment from the Settlement Fund, you will automatically be enrolled in the Future Royalty Payments Program with respect to the tracks you validly claimed that embody your Claimed Musical Works. If so, you do not need to submit a Royalty Claim Form to receive mechanical royalties for those tracks. However, you may submit a Royalty Claim Form if you wish to identify additional tracks embodying your musical works in order to receive mechanical royalties for those tracks. In addition, Settlement Class Members who did not submit a Valid Claim Form for payment from the Settlement Fund are eligible to participate in the Royalty Payments Program.
Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the deadline to submit a settlement Claim Form elapsed on December 11, 2019. We are no longer able to accept new settlement Claim Forms. Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Future Royalty Payments Program Website will become operational and available for use by Settlement Class Members on March 10, 2020.
Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement, claim filing began on May 15, 2019. The Settlement Claims Webpage (“Claims Webpage”) is now operational and available for use by Settlement Class Members. Claim forms are also available for download from the website here.
On April 15, 2019, the Court’s order finally approving the settlement became the Final Order and Judgment. Since all appeals were dismissed and no certiorari petitions were filed after the last appeal was dismissed, the Effective Date is April 15, 2019.
Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement, claim filing will begin on May 15, 2019. The Settlement Claims Webpage (“Claims Webpage”) will become operational and available for use by Settlement Class Members on May 15, 2019. Claim forms will also be available for download from the website, and a link to the Settlement Claim Facilitator Webpage (“Facilitator Portal”) will be provided. Class Counsel encourages Settlement Class Members to file their claims through the Claims Webpage and utilize the services provided by the Settlement Claim Facilitator.
Three objector appeals filed on behalf of Andrew Paley, Tracy Silverman and Phynjuar Saunders (f/k/a Phynjuar Saunders-Thomas) were withdrawn with prejudice. Dismissals with prejudice of those appeals have been entered and can be viewed here.
Two objector groups, (1) Kristin Diable and Tamara Dearing and (2) Watson Music Group, LLC, DM Records, Inc. and Kingfish Music Group, Inc., had also filed appeals. The Second Circuit previously dismissed those appeals. These appeals have caused a delay in the availability of claim forms.
The claim form will not be available and the claim submission process will not start until after the Effective Date. This website will be updated with the claim form and the deadline for submitting claims once that information is available.
There has been at least one appeal filed after the Court’s order was entered on May 22, 2018, therefore the Effective Date of the Settlement will be delayed until after all appeals of the Court’s order have been resolved.
On May 22, 2018, the Court entered an Order and Final Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement. If no appeals are filed, the Effective Date of the Settlement is June 22, 2018.
On February 13, 2018, the Court issued an Order establishing a supplemental exclusion period for certain individuals and entities which required an updated report describing the results of the supplemental exclusion period be provided to the Court by April 18, 2018. As explained in the Order issued on April 4, 2018, the Court is waiting to receive that supplemental exclusion report before issuing a decision regarding final approval of the settlement.
The Court held a fairness hearing on December 1, 2017 to determine whether to give final approval to the settlement and has now taken the matter under consideration.