A man from Denmark is currently being tried for an alleged music streaming fraud worth £500,000.

A man from Denmark is currently being tried for an alleged music streaming fraud worth £500,000.

A man from Denmark is currently facing trial in Aarhus for allegedly committing fraud and earning 4.38 million kroner (equivalent to over £502,000) through music streaming websites. This is believed to be the first trial of its kind.

According to prosecutors, the 53-year-old individual made a profit from 689 music pieces that were streamed on various platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouSee Musik. They claim that the large number of streams needed to generate such a significant amount of money could not have come from legitimate users and that unauthorized methods were likely used instead. The purported scam is believed to have taken place between 2013 and 2019.

The accused is facing charges of both data fraud and copyright infringement. It is alleged that they took works from other artists, altered their length and tempo, and released them under their own name. The accused has entered a plea of not guilty.

The National Unit for Special Crime is currently investigating the case, which is scheduled to be heard over a period of three days. A verdict is anticipated to be reached on Tuesday.

Henrik Garlik, the lawyer representing the defendant, stated to Danish broadcaster DR that he believes this case, involving alleged data fraud related to the use of various streaming services for musical works, has never been brought to trial before.

The outcome may impact it, but there is a chance that my client and the prosecution may both challenge the ruling in the higher court. I also cannot discount the possibility that a case of this nature could go all the way to the supreme court.

According to reports, the prosecution is pursuing a monetary penalty and jail time, as well as seizing the defendant’s royalties.

Anna Lidell and Lasse Matthiessen, who serve as the chair and vice-chair respectively of Autor, the biggest organization for composers, songwriters, lyricists, and producers in Denmark, stated that this is a unique achievement not just in their country but also worldwide. They emphasized that the level of streams recorded has never been observed before.

According to Lidell and Matthiessen, earning 1 million kroner would require a song to be streamed 20 million times and for the artist, songwriter, and label to have full ownership, which is highly uncommon.

It is uncertain how the individual acquired a large number of streams, but it is possible that it was achieved through a computer program or by using numerous devices, such as cell phones, to continuously play the same songs. The speakers expressed their wish that the outcome of this case will establish a precedent and safeguard the rights of Danish and international composers and songwriters by reaching a definite verdict.

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In 2018, the Danish Rights Alliance brought attention to this case on behalf of its members. According to the indictment, Ditte Rie Agerskov, the head of communication, stated that the defendant’s actions resulted in him receiving royalties that were unfairly large, comparable to those earned by prominent international celebrities.

She stated, “There is a demand among criminals for creating fake plays that imitate natural listening habits, in order to receive royalties from streaming music services. However, these artificially generated plays go against the user agreements of music platforms such as Spotify, YouSee, and Tidal.”

Source: theguardian.com