Major music streaming services led my some of tech’s biggest companies are being sued by the estate of the composer of one of the world’s most famous songs. The estate Harold Arlen, the man who composed Over the Rainbow, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Pandora.
The estate says the music streaming services operated by those companies have been selling unauthorized recordings of Arlen-penned songs.
Forbes reports the lawsuit accuses the companies of engaging in a “massive music piracy operation” regarding 6,000 recordings of Arlen tracks.
While Harold Arlen is probably unknown to most people. However, he is responsible for some of the most famed songs of the last century. He composed the music for Over the Rainbow. The song won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song alongside lyricist E. Y. Harburg for The Wizard of Oz in 1939.
He also composed the music for the 1954 version of a Star is Born. He was also involved with songs from many other classic era movies. Since Arlen’s passing in 1986, his estate has been managing his copyrights and affairs.
Songs composed by Arlen have been covered numerous times, and these covers are the subject of the lawsuit. The filing states there are unauthorized versions of Arlen’s compositions being sold on streaming services. Companies named include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Pandora.
Details in the filing claims all the streaming services sell and play these songs knowing that they are not authorized versions.
“It is hard to imagine that a person walking into Tower Records, off the street, with arms full of CD’s and vinyl records and claiming to be the record label for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, could succeed in having that store sell their copies directly next to the same albums released by legendary record labels, Capitol, RCA, and Columbia, and at a lower price.”
216 claims have been filed in the lawsuit which spans 148 pages.