Why Spotify and Apple Music haven’t pulled Kanye West’s songs
Apple Music just pulled his song “New Slaves” from Spotify. But there is a problem. Kanye West had uploaded the track to both services months ago, on his blog and on SoundCloud. They were not pulled by Spotify. This raises a very basic issue: what is the correct path for artists in this situation?
When a music owner uploads a song via one service to another, it is called “cross-posting.” But it is often done by mistake, by a careless or uninformed user. It is more effective to ask users, “have you changed your mind about this?” as you would with an old song.
In Kanye West’s case, he was asking for a DMCA takedown notice. So Apple and Spotify, who share responsibility, are both responsible for what happens. With the help of Spotify’s attorneys, a takedown was triggered over the last week.
But the bigger issue in this case is for Spotify, whose decision to pull the song makes them a bad bet for Apple Music, which did not pull the song from the streaming service.
Also, an article from the New York Times explains how Spotify’s decision has backfired on the company. In this case, “Apple is going to end up paying Spotify for this.” Spotify, which has taken its time, is now paying Apple.
But the main problem is not from Spotify taking its time to decide, but rather from the misunderstanding that the track was on Apple Music and not on Spotify.
Apple and Spotify are two different companies, and they are two different songs. Apple Music has not withdrawn the song on the grounds that it is on Spotify. It has withdrawn the song because of a DMCA notice, and because Apple has an exclusive deal with the song.
In this situation, it’s correct to say that the song was not on Spotify — and it was not on Apple Music. However, the most important problem is that Apple Music has not withdrawn the song but only asked for a DMCA takedown of the song. Apple Music did not pull the song because of a DMCA notice but because of a DMCA dispute over a DMCA notice.
This is a very basic mistake that a lot of people make in their lives, and that causes very real problems. It is not that Apple and Spotify are wrong. They are both right