India's oldest record label takes Spotify to court over licensing rights

Spotify made its long-awaited debut in India earlier this year, with monthly plans starting off at just ₹119 ($1.70). The launch went through in spite of litigation from Warner Music, which prevented Spotify from streaming the record label's vast catalog of songs in the country.

In what must feel like déjà vu for the streaming service, it is now facing another injunction, this time from India's oldest record label. Based on court filings, Spotify entered into a negotiation with Saregama to license the label's catalog of 120,000 songs prior to the streaming service's launch in India. It looks like a preliminary deal was agreed upon, for Saregama provided the copyright to Spotify a month before its debut.

However, both parties were unable to finalize the license agreement, and Saregama has asked for a removal of its catalog from the platform. Spotify has agreed to take down Saregama's library within ten days, and the next court hearing is scheduled for May 5.

Spotify made a decent dent in India's streaming space in spite of its tribulations with Warner Music — racking up a million users within a week — but continuing legal troubles will be a roadblock to its long-terms plans for the country.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.