Danish man on trial for fraud after making £500k on music streaming

today22/02/2024 8

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A Danish man has gone on trial over claims that he has profited 4.38m kroner (over £500,000) by fraudulently generating playbacks across music streaming services, The Guardian. reports.

The trial, which is currently underway Aarhus, is claimed to be the “first of its kind” — with the unnamed 53-year-old defendant having plead not guilty to data fraud for profits made from streaming 689 pieces of music on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music between 2013 to 2019.

with the unnamed 53-year-old defendant being accused of creating “fake” streams of 689 pieces of music on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

Prosecutors believe that the number of streams to generate the sum could not have been made via real users, but instead with “unauthorised techniques.”

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The Guardian reports that the investigation by the National Unit for Special Crime is estimated to be heard over three days, with a verdict is expected on February 27.

If found guilty, the defendant will face a fine, prison sentence and the confiscation of royalties.

The defendant’s lawyer, Henrik Garlik, told the Danish publication DR: “I don’t think that such a case – regarding matters which the prosecution believes to be data fraud in connection with playbacks of musical works via various tendering services – has ever been tried in court.”

He continues: “Somewhat dependent on the result, there is a possibility that both my client and the prosecution will appeal the verdict to the high court. And I also do not want to deny that a case like this could reach the Supreme Court.”

Anna Lidell and Lasse Matthiessen, the chair and a vice-chair of Autor – a Danish association for composers, songwriters, lyricists and producers – told The Guardian: “This is one of a kind, not only within Danish territory but globally. The scale of streaming numbers … has not been seen before.”

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According to Lidell and Matthiessen, to generate one million kroner in royalties a track would need to be streamed 20 million times and be entirely owned by the artist.

The representatives from Auto continue: “We don’t know for sure how the person got so many streams but it could have been done by a computer program or by having a lot of devices like cell phones that are just set to play the same songs on repeat.”

“We naturally hope, on behalf of both Danish and international composers and songwriters, that the case leads to a clear verdict that sets a precedent and thus protects the rights to the music that our composers and songwriters have written” they add.

[Via: The Guardian]

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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