Peloton Is Being Sued By Music Publishers For $150 Million

The lawsuit alleges that Peloton offers thousands of unlicensed songs from artists like Rihanna and Drake.

Men and women exercise in front of screens
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The lawsuit alleges that Peloton offers thousands of unlicensed songs from artists like Rihanna and Drake.

One of the most successful pieces of workout equipment that has been offered in recent years is the Peloton bike. In fact, Peloton’s unique bikes helped create a unique evolution in the fitness world, utilizing instructional classes during workout sessions. However, a new lawsuit alleges that Peloton never paid for rights to use the songs, meaning the successful workout company could wind up having to pay out millions of dollars.

The lawsuit that is aimed at punishing Peloton comes from a bevy of music publishing companies, according to TMZ. Those businesses all say that Peloton never got the rights they needed to use the list of popular songs they have been utilizing in their interactive spin classes for the past few years. Currently, Peloton’s amazing popularity means that the company, which has over 600,000 subscribers, has an estimated value of around $4 billion. The various music publishing organizations that are suing Peloton feel that their songs are a big reason for the company’s growing success.

The music publishers claim that Peloton has utilized over 1,000 songs for their spin classes without permission, according to TMZ. Some of the artists who had their songs played in Peloton’s classes include Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Pat Benatar, and Chris Brown. Some of these artists’ songs are used so often, it boggles the mind to wonder why Peloton never tried to get permission to use them. For instance, “Umbrella,” one of Rihanna’s most popular hits, was utilized in around 55 different workout videos offered by Peloton.

Some of the music publishers that are teaming up to obtain monetary compensation from Peloton for using their songs without permission include Big Deal Music, Downtown Music Publishing, Round Hill, Reservoir, Pulse Music Publishing, Royalty Network, and TRO Essex Music Group. All of these companies say that Peloton never licensed the songs they used from the music publishers, and that created income loss for all of them.

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The music publishing companies filed their copyright infringement lawsuit on Tuesday. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. Also, the music publishers are asking for over $150 million in damages from Peloton for using their songs without permission.

“Music is a core part of the Peloton business model and is responsible for much of the brand’s swift success,” David Israelite, National Music Publisher’s Association’s president and CEO, said in a statement, according to CNBC. “Thousands of exclusive videos and playlists are a major reason hundreds of thousands of people have purchased Peloton products. 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 year.”