Peloton bikes have become increasingly popular over the years — the streaming-exercise-class company has helped to motivated customers all across the country to exercise regularly from their homes. But now, Peloton is being sued by various music publishers for using music without proper permission from the artists.
According to David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association, “Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the integral role of songwriters to its company, Peloton has built its business by using their work without their permission or fair compensation for years. It is frankly unimaginable that a company of this size and sophistication would think it could exploit music in this way without the proper licenses for this long, and we look forward to getting music creators what they deserve.”
The exercise company is being sued for more than $150 million in damages. And you thought two-day shipping was expensive at almost 50% more than standard shipping. According to the music publishers, Peloton did not get the synchronization licenses needed to sync songs with their own video content. While music artists don’t have to submit one of the 500,000 patent applications the USPTO receives every year, their music is protected under copyright law.
Peloton’s fitness videos feature music from several artists, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and more. And the 10 music publishers who have filed lawsuits claim that the company has been violating copyright regulations since launching its streaming features in 2014. There are several laws in place to protect businesses, individuals, and their belongings, like the 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act.
The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. district court in New York, claiming that Peloton has been using over 1,000 songs without the proper licensing. The exercise bike company has been expanding its services, offering more video-and-music pairings — users can even choose certain classes based on what kind of music they’re in the mood to workout to. Peloton even recently developed a partnership with Techstars Music, a startup accelerator program.
The lawsuit states, “Indeed, Peloton has publicly acknowledged that its consumers ’embrace music as central to the Peloton experience and consistently rank it as one of the top aspects of the brand. There is no question as to the deliberate and willful nature of Peloton’s infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted musical works.”
While the lawsuit has yet to have a court ruling, a representative for the exercise company has said there are evaluating the legal complaint as well as saying that Peloton has “invested heavily to build a best-in-breed reporting and licensing system.”