As Spotify continues to fight to cut songwriters’ pay, top lawyer Horacio Gutierrez quits for Disney

Spotify’s Horacio Gutierrez has become a well-known figure in the music industry – whether he sits facing record companies during license negotiations, argues with music publishers over mechanical royalty rates, or act as the leader in SPOT’s legal attack on Apple on the latter company’s application. store fees.

But now, after nearly six years at Spotify, Gutierrez is stepping down from his role as Director of Global Affairs and General Counsel of SPOT to a senior position at The Walt Disney Company.

Gutierrez has been appointed Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Disney. His appointment is effective February 1, 2022 and he will report directly to Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

Gutierrez will succeed longtime Disney veteran Alan Braverman who, as announced in July, is retiring after nearly two decades as General Counsel.

“Horacio is an incredibly skilled lawyer and dynamic leader who comes to Disney with 35 years of legal experience in markets around the world. Having spent more than two decades working for leading technology companies, he has a deep understanding of the complex legal issues that accompany technological disruptions and rapid changes in the industry, ”said Chapek. “Horacio is a key addition to my leadership team, and I look forward to working with him as he builds on Alan’s exceptional legacy as the head of our unprecedented legal organization. “

Gutierrez commented, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the global Disney legal organization, to work with Bob Chapek and his management team, and to contribute to one of the most admired and most successful companies. appreciated in the world because it draws on its many strengths. and transforms for the future.

“It is a special honor for me to succeed Alan Braverman, an iconic figure in the legal profession, who over the past two decades has created one of the world’s largest and most admired legal departments. “

Gutierrez is leaving Spotify amid the streamer’s ongoing appeal for an increase in the streaming royalty rate for songwriters and publishers in the United States.

In January 2018, songwriters in the United States scored a major victory when the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled that royalty rates for streaming and other mechanical uses would increase to 44% in the market in Canada. during the five years between 2018 and 2022.

The decision called for a significant increase in the overall percentage of revenue paid to songwriters – from 10.5% at 15.1% in the five years between 2018 and 2022 – which would mark the largest rate increase in CRB history.

However, Spotify and other companies, including Amazon and Google / Alphabet, subsequently appealed, in a process that is still ongoing.

On January 1 (2022), National Music Publishers’ Association CEO David Israelite wrote on social media: “Today is supposed to be the day music streaming services like Spotify [and] Amazon Music begins paying songwriters 15.1% of their earnings in accordance with the 2018 court ruling granting songwriters their first pay raise in a generation.

“This is not happening because these tech giants are ALWAYS in court trying to deny this late pay raise.”

Obviously, they will now be in court minus Horacio Gutierrez.

Meanwhile, in October (2021), Spotify offered new mechanical royalty rates in the United States for the final five-year period between 2023 and 2027.

In a new dossier with the CRB, Spotify proposed that songwriters and publishers receive 10.5% relevant revenue from a streaming service over the period 2023 – 2027.

That’s almost half of what the National Music Publishers’ Association offers.

For the past two years, Horacio Gutierrez has served as Head of Global Affairs and General Counsel of Spotify, leading a global team of professionals in business, corporate communications and public affairs, government relations, licensing, operations. and the law responsible for the work of the company. in areas such as industry relations, content partnerships and public policy.

Gutierrez was previously General Counsel and Vice President of Commercial and Legal Affairs at Spotify from 2016 to 2019.

Prior to joining Spotify, Gutierrez was Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of Microsoft, overseeing the company’s legal affairs around the world, including full lifecycle support of Microsoft’s products and services, from research and development in business development, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, legal compliance and cybercrime prevention activities.

He first joined Microsoft in 1998 as a corporate lawyer, LATAM, and held a number of increasingly senior roles in the legal department during his 17 years with the company.

In 2020, Spotify hired former HBO legal director Eve Konstan as general counsel reporting to Gutierrez.Music trade around the world

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