Spotify announces it will withdraw from Uruguay

Spotify announces it will withdraw from Uruguay

(CNN in Spanish) — The audio streaming platform Spotify announced that it will gradually stop providing its services in Uruguay starting in January 2024 until it stops completely in February, due to recent amendments to copyright in the legislation of the South American country.

In October, the Uruguayan Parliament approved a law enabling artists to directly demand compensation from digital platforms for the reproduction of their work.

“(Spotify) will unfortunately begin phasing out its service in Uruguay starting January 1, 2024, and the service will stop completely in February, to the detriment of artists and fans (…due to) the lack of clarity regarding changes in copyright laws,” he noted in a statement issued Monday in The Uruguayan press noted that it “includes the Accounting Law of 2023.”

Spotify added that it “already pays about 70% of every dollar it makes from music to record labels and publishers, who own the rights to the music, and who represent and pay artists and songwriters. Any additional payments would make our business unviable.”

During the debate over the law in question, Spotify predicted that its approval would force it to stop operating in Uruguay.

Articles 329 and 330 adopted in Uruguay’s 2023 impeachment state that “the Internet or digital networks of any kind” are some of the ways in which artists and performers can “claim remuneration” for the publication and reproduction of their works.

When this law was discussed in Parliament, the Association of Interpreters of Uruguay (Sudei) said that the changes were intended to update “the current rules so that the relevant rights of interpreters created on digital platforms are enshrined in our legislation, through mechanisms that allow you to request.”

For Sodi, digital music has left “artists and performers at a significant disadvantage and thus vulnerability in terms of paying their royalties.” He added: “Currently, in our country, fees for uses of music on digital platforms, corresponding to performers and music producers, are charged exclusively by music producers, and not by performers, which generates a situation of inequality and lack of justice.”

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