Peloton is being sued for using music without permission in its video fitness classes

Several members of the National Association of Music Publishers (NMPA) have collectively filed a lawsuit against Peloton's fitness squad today, seeking more than $ 150 million in damages. The complaint, filed by Downtown Music Publishing, Ultra Music and eight other publishing groups, says that Peloton has been using its musical works during its training videos without the proper license, resulting in a loss of revenue for composers.

The complaint says that Platoon has some licenses in effect with other seals and publishers, but not with the plaintiffs named in this lawsuit. It alleges that Peloton has "used more than 1,000 musical works owned or administered by Plaintiffs for a period of years in the videos that it makes available to its hundreds of thousands of customers without synchronization (or" synchronization "). ").) license." In one case, the company allegedly "obtained a license for a limited time, but then let the license expire, while continuing to use the copyrighted works of Ultra."

The Peloton training videos are transmitted to Peloton motorcycles and treadmills from around the world, usually accompanied by a playlist of songs for guide the training The company also offers a digital subscription to its video lessons for those who want to exercise with their own non-Peloton equipment.

The effect is similar to a gymnastics class in person, but the music heard on a video requires a different license. Playing music outdoors for people to listen to, like in a gym, requires a license for the rights to public airwaves. But if you're watching the same class as a video from your Peloton at home, that music now requires what's called a synchronization license, because the music is synchronized with the output of visual media.

Some of the works that the complaint says that Peloton is using without proper license include "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, "Only Girl" by Rihanna, "Drip" by Migos and Cardi B, and "Bangarang" by Skrillex and Sirah, as indicated in the complaint.

"Music is a fundamental part of the Peloton business model and is responsible for much of the brand's rapid success," NMPA president and CEO David Israelite said in a statement. "Thousands of exclusive videos and playlists are one of the main reasons why hundreds of thousands of people have bought Peloton products."

Reached by The Verge, Peloton noted that it has an extensive licensing system and has partnered with a number of groups in the music industry. "We just received the complaint this morning and we are evaluating it," a Peloton representative told The Verge. "Peloton has great respect for composers and artists, in fact, we have partnered with each of the leading music publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations, and many of the leading independent companies. made major investments to build a world-class reporting and licensing system to support our partners and provide our members with a world-class fitness experience. "

The NMPA alleges that these infractions by Peloton have been occurring since 2014, when it launched streaming at home on its machines. The company currently has a value of $ 4 billion and, according to The Wall Street Journal is taking steps towards an IPO this year.

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