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Spotify’s India Launch Hits Snag as Warner Music Sues

February 25, 2019 / JEM ASWAD

Spotify’s long-anticipated launch in India could be days away, but the Swedish company is taking its licensing negotiations with the three major music groups to the wire. While the streamer says it has closed licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music, it remains “far apart” from acceptable terms with Warner Music Group.As a workaround, Spotify is claiming a statutory license meant for TV and radio broadcasters; in response, Warner filed an injunction in India that aims to bar Spotify’s access to songs published by the major’s Warner/Chappell company, which holds the rights to more than 1 million songs. The dispute has become contentious as Spotify accused Warner of “abusive behavior” that harms “many non-Warner artists, labels and publishers.”In a statement to Variety, a Warner Music spokesperson says: “After months of negotiations, Spotify abruptly changed course and has falsely asserted a statutory license fo...