September 13, 2019 / 10:21 PM / 6 days ago

As Peloton prepares IPO, music publishers seek to double lawsuit to $300 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music publishers have asked a federal judge to let them double their lawsuit against Peloton Interactive Inc to $300 million, saying the maker of stationary bicycles has streamed more than 2,000 workout videos used without permission.

FILE PHOTO: 2019 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals - Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, U.S., August 26, 2019 - Taylor Swift. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

The National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade group, said on Friday that since suing Peloton in March for copyright infringement, publishers have found a trove of additional songs that the New York-based company knowingly and recklessly offered to customers without first getting required licenses.

These allegedly included songs from Adele, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, John Legend, Maroon 5, Meek Mill and Taylor Swift, as well as classics such as The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There,” Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind” and The Who’s “I Can See For Miles.” Publishers want to add 1,324 songs to their lawsuit, the trade group said.

“Peloton fully understood what the copyright law required, having entered licenses with certain other copyright holders, while trampling the rights of plaintiffs by using their musical works for free and without permission,” the publishers said in a proposed amended complaint filed late on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan must grant approval before publishers can pursue their expanded case.

The proposed complaint was filed two days after Peloton said it planned to raise up to $1.33 billion in an initial public offering, by offering 46 million shares priced between $26 and $29 each.

Peloton said its platform could have been developed only through “close collaboration” with major labels and music publishers, among others.

“We will continue to defend ourselves against claims made in this matter and look forward to pursuing our counterclaims,” the company said in an emailed statement.

In a Friday court filing, Peloton’s lawyers asked Cote to schedule a conference to address the publishers’ and NMPA’s alleged failure to turn over documents relevant to its case, saying the parties had reached an “impasse.”

Founded in 2012, Peloton sells stationary bicycles starting at $2,245, in packages requiring memberships to access live and on-demand classes from home. Unlimited access costs $39 a month.

The case is Downtown Music Publishing LLC et al v Peloton Interactive Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-02426.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brownand Leslie Adler

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