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Sosa Entertainment boss calls Spotify’s “fraudster” claims “laughable and blatantly false”

By | Published on Wednesday 20 May 2020


The boss of independent label Sosa Entertainment and start-up collecting society PRO Music Rights has called claims made by Spotify in a legal filing this week “laughable and blatantly false”.

Spotify countersued Jake Noch on Monday as part of a long-running dispute between Sosa and the streaming firm. It was actually Noch who went legal first, last year, accusing Spotify of “unfair and deceptive practices” after it removed his label’s catalogue from its platform, also causing Sosa to lose its membership of indie label digital rights group Merlin.

The streaming company says it banned Noch’s label from its platform based on the belief he was manipulating streams of his own music in order to boost his share of the digital pie at the end of each month.

In its lawsuit, Spotify says there were “blatant signifiers of artificial streaming” linked to tracks in Noch’s catalogue, and that a whistleblower provided it with emails between Noch and a so called ‘bot-farmer’, in which the Sosa boss “directed the creation of millions of fake Spotify accounts” in order to artificially increase the streams of his label’s music.

It added: “Starting in 2016, Noch designed a scheme to artificially generate hundreds of millions of fraudulent streams on songs he had seeded on Spotify’s online music-streaming service. Noch’s objective was plain: to manipulate Spotify’s system to extract undeserved royalties at the expense of hardworking artists and songwriters”.

Noch had already responded to most of the allegations made by Spotify this week in his original lawsuit last year. In that legal filing he claimed that “Spotify fabricated a reason to remove Sosa’s songs from its platform”, that it “communicated false statements to Merlin about Sosa”, and that the streaming firm had “engaged in a widespread smear campaign” against him and his companies.

Responding specifically to this week’s countersuit, Noch says in a statement to CMU: “Spotify’s claims are laughable and blatantly false. Furthermore, if, as they allege, someone who has ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia and was sixteen at the time [of the alleged stream manipulation] could jeopardise their business operations, then I hope that every one of their shareholders has a very diversified portfolio”.

Spotify included a number of bold claims in its legal filing this week, including that “Noch touts himself as a ‘musical prodigy’ who started a ‘record label’ when he was sixteen – in actuality, he has become notorious for unscrupulous dealings and illegal business practices throughout the music industry”. The Sosa boss was, simply, said Spotify, “a fraudster”.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Noch’s response includes similarly bold statements. “A company such as Spotify, that is built on the theft of intellectual property, puts every single one of its shareholders at risk”, he says. “I foresee Spotify becoming the next Enron”.

As for the ongoing legal battle, he adds: “I also greatly look forward to the day we get to go to court and I hope that all of Spotify’s shareholders will pay close attention to these cases. These cases will show them that Spotify is just a house of cards and that a small breeze will cause the house to collapse”.

“This is clearly evidenced by Spotify pouring so many resources into a smear campaign against someone who is only 21”, he concludes. “Time will prove that we are right. Until then, I remain confident and joyful, knowing that Spotify will be the next Enron”.