Peloton CEO Issues Statement on $150M Lawsuit

Andy Berg Headshot

Peloton today said it is removing a number of on-demand workouts that contain music related to a pending $150 million lawsuit against the cycling fitness company.

The company’s founder and CEO John Foley Monday sent an emailed statement to members in an effort to assure them that the company will continue to offer the same product.  

“While you may notice this in the near term, I can assure you that this will not affect your experience with (or the cost of) our service, or access to the kind of music you’re used to hearing behind our instructors in the thousands of classes in our library,” Foley wrote.

He went on to note that Peloton has agreements in place with all of what he called the “major” publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations, as well as many independent publishers and labels. These agreements provide licenses to a broad catalog of music that the company’s instructors can choose from to program their classes.

Peloton is currently being sued by nine music publishers, all of whom are members of the National Music Publisher’s Association. According to CBS News, the publishers allege the company “knowingly and willfully infringed, using plaintiffs' songs in workout videos without obtaining synchronization, or ‘sync,’ licenses.” These licenses give a music user permission to release a song in video format.

"There is no doubt that Peloton's infringement was and continues to be knowing and reckless. Peloton fully understood what the copyright law required, having entered into sync licenses with certain other copyright holders, while trampling the rights of Plaintiffs by using their musical works for free and without permission," the suit states. 

Artists whose work was used without permission include Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and others.

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