Aimee Mann has found herself at the center of the debate over digital streaming rights for music after the singer/songwriter launching a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a small company called MediaNet that Mann claims has been illegally signing off on streaming deals for her music.
Mann claims that MediaNet intentionally infringed on her copyright for 120 of her songs. She also claims that the only royalty payments that she has received from MediaNet was an unsolicited $20 advance. The dispute stems from a licensing agreement Mann had with MediaNet that was terminated on September 30th, 2005, after which Mann claims the company continued to use her music without her permission.
A spokesperson for MediaNet said that Mann’s claim is “without merit.”
Mann’s case comes after artists like Pink Floyd and Thom Yorke have openly criticized music streaming platforms, saying that services like Spotify and Pandora rob artists of a fair share of royalty payments. In statements issued to the Hollywood Reporter, Mann’s lawyer said that the case is part of “an artist revolt” against streaming services. How true that statement is, given that Mann’s case has nothing to do with Spotify specifically, remains to be seen.
Mann’s last album, Charmer, came out last fall. She’s currently preparing to release a collaborative album with Ted Leo.