Quick Hits: Sony’s contract with Spotify; more critiques of safe harbor laws

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Sony/Spotify contract leaked (then removed):¬†The Verge obtained a copy of Sony’s contract with Spotify earlier this week and published a detailed analysis of the two-year arrangement between the two parties beginning in 2011. The contract was inked in January of that year, shortly before Spotify’s U.S. launch. According to the stipulations in that deal, Spotify paid Sony up to $42.5 million in advances over three years. The contract called for $9 million in the first year, $16 million in the second, and an option for $17.5 million in the third.

Labels have long been secretive about the licensing of their music, so The Verge’s scoop is a big development in what the media and regular listeners know about how those deals are made. The site’s copy of the contract has since been removed from print “at the request of the copyright owner.”

Another songwriting exec critiques safe harbor laws: We heard some harsh words about the current safe harbor regulations from the UK copyright agency PRS for Music yesterday. BASCA Chairman Simon Darlow has added his voice to the chorus, speaking out against the laws at the Ivor Novello Awards. “For those of you here today whose search engines provide links to software that enable people to steal songs from services that are only licensed to stream, you are undermining the value of our music,” he said. “For any others out there who remain unlicensed and rely on notice and takedown, you are accessory to the theft of our music.”

Brad Hill