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Plaintiffs to Peloton: Pay our artists for the use of their music

Litigants that have filed a lawsuit against Peloton claim that, rather than being a badge of honor, the company’s contractual good faith displayed in some instances is instead a clear indicator of its knowing infringement generally.

Let’s get down to some specifics. Peloton is described in a recent CNN article as a “boutique fitness brand.” To hone in a bit on that, the company is a streaming service that offers live on-demand workout classes to subscribers. Its business idea has proven to be both popular and profitable. Reportedly, Peloton has a market value of more than $4 billion.

One contributing factor to Peloton’s success is the music that plays in sync with the company’s workout videos. Peloton both figuratively and literally hits the right tune when it comes to selections that accompany amped-up workout sessions. The artists it uses include Beyonce, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.

Sometimes it pays them for the use of their creative property … and sometimes it doesn’t. That is the central claim in an infringement lawsuit recently filed by multiple musical publishers on behalf of those entertainers and additional artists. As noted above, the plaintiffs stress that Peloton’s entrance into so-called “sync licenses” with some – but not all – artists provides ample proof that the company’s infringement “was and continues to be knowing and reckless.”

The lawsuit demands $150 million in damages. Peloton just recently received the complaint and states that it is withholding comment on it pending a full evaluation. A company spokesperson says that Peloton “has great respect for songwriters and artists.”

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