The makers of one of the most adored exercise bikes ever has just been hit with a $150 million lawsuit due to not having the correct music license in place to stream music alongside its streaming workout classes.
Unlike brick and mortar gyms and other public establishments, who should have a public performance license to play copyrighted music, when music is contained in a streaming video, a sync license is required. And according to the recent lawsuit, Peloton didn't have one of those in place for thousands of songs it used, including ones from Drake and Lady Gaga.
What's a Peloton?
If you are completely unaware of what a Peloton even is, then you probably don't watch much TV or many videos on the internet, as the ads are nearly inescapable.
In short, Peloton is a company that sells fitness bikes and treadmills that have video screens in them that connect to the internet in order live-stream video from workout classes. There's more to it, sure, but that's the gist. The bikes cost a couple grand, and the video service requires a monthly subscription fee.
Cutting Digital Corners
While Peloton is a tech company seeking to disrupt the gym industry, and has seen some rather explosive success, like other tech startups before it, cutting corners seems to have finally caught up with the company.
As the plaintiff's attorney explained to the media, there just simply isn't a defense to this black and white copyright licensing issue. It is alleged that Peloton simply failed to secure a sync license for thousands of songs that it used for its streaming classes. And notably, the company did have sync licenses in places for other music.