Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Pandora are being sued for selling unauthorized recordings of songs composed by the famous Harold Arlen, one of them including Over The Rainbow. The estate of Harold Arlen is suing these music platforms. According to Forbes, the lawsuit explains that these companies have over 6,000 pirated recordings and that they are involved in a “massive music piracy operation”.
Some of the unauthorized versions listed in the lawsuit are viewable in online stores. Once Again by Ethel Ennis, for example has two copies available to stream on Apple Music. One of the versions has been edited, and the RCA Victor logo has been removed from its cover.
Another example is on Amazon with the musical Jamaica. There are two versions on Amazon that are being sold, but with clear price differences. The authorized version from the Masterworks Broadway label has the price at $9.99 for the fun album, and $1.29 for singular tracks. But the other version, the unauthorized one, is selling the full album for $3.99, and singular tracks for $0.99. And just like the unauthorized version of the Ethel Ennis album, the RCA Victor logo was also edited out.
One out of the 216 claims that the lawsuit makes is that these companies know fully well that they are selling unauthorized versions. It states, “it is hard to imagine that a person walking into Tower Records, off the street, with arms full of CD’s and vinyl records and claiming to be the record label for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, could succeed in having that store sell their copies directly next to the same albums released by legendary record labels, Capitol, RCA, and Columbia, and at a lower price.”