Request Apple Inc. to Strengthen Countermeasures Against Unauthorized Music Apps

・Four music industry associations and four music streaming service providers jointly request to Apple Inc. to crack down more rigorously on unauthorized music apps through stricter pre-screening and faster takedowns


Recording Industry Association of Japan
Japan Association of Music Enterprises
Music Publishers Association of Japan
the Federation of Music Producers Japan
AWA Co. Ltd.
LINE MUSIC Corporation
Rakuten Inc.

TOKYO – July 11, 2019 – The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), the Japan Association of Music Enterprises, the Music Publishers Association of Japan, the Federation of Music Producers Japan, and Four music streaming service providers – AWA Co. Ltd., KKBOX Japan LLC, LINE MUSIC Corporation, and Rakuten Inc.* – have formally submitted a joint request on June 28 for Apple Inc. to tighten control over "Unauthorized Music Apps"—the collective name for apps that stream music in ways that fall beyond the intention of the music's copyright and neighboring right holders. (The first four associations engage in efforts to grow the music industry and protect right owners.)
*Listed alphabetically

The recent torrent of Unauthorized Music Apps flooding the industry is enabling users to listen to music for free, resulting in these app operators to gain unfair profits through advertising sales. These operators are not only committing copyright infringement, but also stealing profit from the music's rightful copyright owners and legitimate service providers—profit that they would have otherwise gained through CD sales, downloads, and streaming. Because some apps even leak their users’ personal information, the issue is evolving into a social problem.

Currently, Apple Inc. removes any apps reported through RIAJ from the App Store if they are confirmed to be Unauthorized Music Apps. While this has been the general solution for many years, the App Store frequently fails to follow through with takedown requests, and republishes deleted apps disguised as new apps.

In light of the current situation, the joint request urges Apple Inc. to reinforce their countermeasures against such apps as described below.

1. Strengthen the review process before apps are registered and published, including contacting and working with RIAJ for apps suspected to be Unauthorized Music Apps
2. Expedite takedowns upon the right owner’s request for apps that violate Apple Inc.'s Terms and Conditions

The music industry associations and music streaming service providers will continue to discuss and engage in efforts to tighten control over Unauthorized Music Apps, strive to build an honest and fair market, and demand speedy amendment of the Copyright Act that regulates leeching sites and apps.