Judge McCalla Allows Bluewater’s Copyright Case

Copyright Case

Legal Battle: Bluewater Music vs. Spotify

U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla recently denied Spotify’s motions in a copyright infringement case brought by Bluewater Music Enterprise. Let’s delve into the details of this legal skirmish.

The Dispute

Bluewater alleged that Spotify, the popular music streaming service, infringed upon 2,142 music compositions by reproducing and distributing them without proper licensing. The crux of the matter lies in Spotify’s purported use of these compositions without valid licenses, either never obtaining them or continuing usage post the license expiration.

Legal Maneuvers

Spotify sought to dismiss the case citing lack of standing and failure to state a claim. They contended that a significant number of music creations were only controlled by Bluewater, not owned by them. However, Judge McCalla’s ruling favored Bluewater’s standing, based on their exclusive rights granted under Section 106 of the Copyright Act.

Ownership Rights

The court analyzed Bluewater’s agreements with music producers, highlighting the “sole and exclusive right” granted to Bluewater for various actions related to the compositions, including licenses for mechanical reproduction. Despite Spotify’s argument against Bluewater’s exclusive rights, the court upheld Bluewater’s standing.

Pending Copyright Registrations

Spotify raised concerns about 23 music compositions that were marked as “Pending” for copyright registration. They referenced a prior case precedent regarding the necessity of copyright registrations before filing a lawsuit. However, Bluewater argued judicial inefficiency in removing these compositions and highlighted a pending Supreme Court case that might influence this matter.

Court’s Decision

In light of the pending Supreme Court case that directly addresses the issue raised by Spotify, Judge McCalla deferred the decision, denying Spotify’s motion without prejudice. This allows Spotify to refile their motion after the Supreme Court’s ruling.


The legal battle between Bluewater Music Enterprise and Spotify intensifies as the court upholds Bluewater’s standing and defers a decision pending a crucial Supreme Court case. This case highlights the intricate nature of copyright infringement claims in the music industry and the significance of exclusive licensing rights.

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