On April 5, 2023, a California federal judge dismissed Pandora Media’s antitrust claims against licensing companies in ongoing copyright litigation over unpaid royalties. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi tossed the streaming platform’s antitrust counterclaims with prejudice, stating that Pandora hadn’t shown the comedians and representative groups have enough power to control the comedy market. This is the latest development in the ongoing $62.8 million copyright litigation in which Spoken Giants and fellow representative agency Word Collections allege Pandora failed to obtain copyrights of the comedians’ recordings and pay the correction amount in royalties.
McKool Smith Principal Travis DeArman serves as counsel for Spoken Giants in the case.
There has been ample media coverage of this development.
- “Comedians Nab Crucial Win Against Pandora in Streaming Pay Dispute” The Hollywood Reporter (4-6-2023)
“A federal judge on April 5 dismissed Pandora’s countersuit against Word Collection and Spoken Giants, rejecting antitrust arguments from the audio company faulting the group for its alleged failure to assemble a viable comedy streaming service.”
- “ Federal Court Cuts Counterclaims In Copyright Case” Law360 (4-6-2023)
“In a partial victory for two licensing companies, a California federal judge has agreed to toss all of Pandora Media's amended antitrust counterclaims in ongoing $62.8 million copyright litigation that alleges the platform failed to pay the correct amount in royalties when streaming the audio recordings of several comedians.”
- “Pandora Loses Antitrust Fight With Comedians Over Comedy ‘Cartel’” Reuters (4-6-2023)
“U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi said Wednesday that Pandora had not shown the comedians and groups had enough power to corner the comedy market.”