Novel Streaming Fraud Trial Commences Over £500,000 of Illicit Income

A Danish man accused of orchestrating a colossal music streaming fraud scheme has reportedly headed to trial, leading to an unprecedented legal battle that is capturing the attention of the global music industry.

Based in the city of Aarhus, the case marks a significant moment in the streaming era, highlighting the vulnerabilities and challenges within streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. The scale of the operation is unprecedented, prompting discussions about the integrity of streaming counts and the existing measures in place to protect artists and copyright holders.

The unnamed defendant generated a staggering 4.38 million kroner, or roughly £502,000, in royalties through the manipulation of streaming services, The Guardian reports. According to prosecutors, the feat was achieved by artificially inflating the play counts of 689 music works over a span of several years.

The man is charged with both fraud and copyright infringement, the latter of which is due to his alleged altering of existing musical works, oftentimes merely modifying their length and tempo before republishing them under his own name. Prosecutors argued that the sheer volume of streams required to amass such royalties suggests the defendant violated the terms of service of the implicated music streaming platforms, thus undermining the fair compensation of artists and creators.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charges, per The Guardian.

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