Changing the Cycle: Peloton Removes Songs at Heart of Copyright Infringement Suit
On March 25, 2019, Peloton ceased use of particular songs in its streaming workout videos. This comes in response to facing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by music publishers, who argue that Peloton is utilizing music from their artists without permission.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, alleges that Peloton used more than 1,000 songs impermissibly and seeks in excess of $150 million in damages. Additionally, the complaint alleges that much of Peloton’s success can be attributed to its online classes; these classes feature the allegedly unlicensed music that typically require synchronization licenses – otherwise known as fees that studios pay to music rights holders to include a song in conjunction with a visual work – for proper use.
In a letter to Peloton members last week, Chief Executive John Foley declared that the home fitness company will no longer offer the classes featured in the complaint. Foley then noted that this alteration will not disrupt the company’s service, as Peloton retains access to a “broad catalog of music that [its] instructors can choose from to program great classes.”
It remains to be seen how the music publishers that brought the lawsuit will react to this new stance by Peloton.