Record Labels Shot the Artists, But They Did Not Share the Equity
Spotify is planning an initial public offering. The three largest record labels in America own equity in Spotify. Recording artists are not being fairly compensated by the streaming service. The lack of fair compensation is likely caused by the record labels’ partial ownership of Spotify. The relationship between recording artists and their record labels has changed in the digital era. This Note argues that the new relationship between artist and record label should be considered a partnership. Recognizing the artist–label relationship as a partnership gives rise to fiduciary duties. The recognition of a fiduciary duty would obligate record labels to pay artists a share of the profits from the sale of equity in Spotify’s upcoming IPO.
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