Ministry of Sound has filed a lawsuit against music sharing website Spotify for alleged copyright infringement.
The dance music company has insisted that Spotify has refused to delete playlists created by users of the website that copy the brand's compilation albums.
Ministry of Sound is seeking an injunction requiring Spotify to delete these playlists and block any further playlists that seem to copy the brand's compilations. They launched proceedings in the UK High Court on Monday and are also seeking damages and costs.
Lohan Presencer, Ministry of Sound's chief executive, claims that his company has been asking Spotify to remove the playlists since 2012 to no avail. He insists that other websites that have featured copyrighted playlists have been warned and have subsequently removed them but Spotify has failed to act.
There are currently more than 1bn playlists that have been created by Spotify's 24m users. Users are able to choose from more than 20m songs, add them to a playlist, create a title and then share it on Spotify. The playlists in question feature the same track lists as Ministry of Sound compilations, with several playlists even copying the name and using 'Ministry of Sound' in the title.
Defending the case, Presencer said: "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".
This lawsuit will have to decide whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection, as the songs themselves are able to be legally streamed by the website as they are licensed from other labels, but the order of the songs may be copyrighted.
Presencer believes he has a strong case, insisting that Ministry of Sound's compilation's structure and track lists are what drives his brand: "After 20 years and more than 50m album sales, the value and creativity in our compilations are self evident."