Ministry of Sound sues Spotify for allowing users to ‘copy’ its compilation albums

Dance label claims streaming service is refusing to delete playlists that replicate the running order of its compilation albums

Ministry of Sound is suing Spotify for copyright infringement because the streaming service has allegedly refused to delete users’ playlists that “copy” the tracklistings of its compilation albums.

The dance label is seeking an injunction forcing Spotify to remove these playlists and block any future playlists that attempt to replicate the running order of Ministry of Sound compilations, according to proceedings launched in the UK High Court on Monday (September 2).

Ministry of Sound’s chief executive Lohan Presencer told The Guardian: “It’s been incredibly frustrating: we think it’s been very clear what we’re arguing, but there has been a brick wall from Spotify.”

Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists that Presencer wants removed, but Ministry of Sound is making a legal argument that the running order of its compilation albums can be copyrighted because of the skill and expertise required to assemble them.

“What we do is a lot more than putting playlists together: a lot of research goes into creating our compilation albums, and the intellectual property involved in that. It’s not appropriate for someone to just cut and paste them,” said Presencer. “Everyone is talking about curation, but curation has been the cornerstone of our business for the last 20 years.”

A representative confirmed that Spotify has received the lawsuit, The Guardian reports, but declined to make any further comment on the issue. Ministry of Sound released its first compilation album, ‘The Annual’, in 1995 and since then the label, which remains independent, has sold over 50 million albums and singles worldwide.