DALLAS, Texas – Dakota Digital, a digital-audio company based in Houston, is facing multiple lawsuits over the company’s ownership of audio files and video files, including copyright infringement.
According to court filings, the company has more than 20 lawsuits pending against it, some of which allege that the company failed to pay royalties to copyright holders, as required by federal law.
Dakota Digital, founded in 2015, owns the rights to more than 1.5 million songs and audio recordings.
In addition, it has acquired other audio rights and used those rights to pay some of the music industry’s biggest labels, including Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
In the past few years, however, the digital audio business has been rocked by multiple lawsuits.
In July, a Texas federal judge found that Dakota Digital had failed to comply with a copyright waiver that allowed it to retain some audio recordings in its own digital storage space, as long as it kept all the rights associated with those recordings.
The same month, a federal judge in New York also found that the firm failed to follow a requirement to provide a license to license its digital audio and video content to third parties.
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to hold Dakota Digital liable for failing to provide an audio and/or video recording license to a third party, as well as for failing in its obligations to pay copyright holders for the use of the recordings.
Dapac filed the lawsuit in January.
The company has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
According the lawsuit, Dakota Digital did not make payments to its rights holders in accordance with the agreement.
Plaintiffs allege that in 2016, Dakota had a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group, but that it had not paid royalties to the Warner-owned label.
In addition, plaintiffs allege that Dapac had failed in its obligation to license audio and digital audio content to Warner, including through the company-owned CDBaby platform, for use on its CDBaby streaming platform.
Davies legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.