Epic Games Starts Another Battle With Google, This Time Over Bandcamp

Epic Games has spent the past few years in lawsuits and appeals with Apple and Google after the company tried to work around revenue cuts from App Store and Google Play Store in-app purchases. The ongoing legal action has mainly been about Fortnite, which is still absent from both stores, but now music platform Bandcamp could be embroiled in a legal battle as well.

Bandcamp is a music platform intended primarily for independent artists to distribute their music, much like the iTunes Store, but with more options for audio quality and no record label as the middle men. It was acquired by Epic Games last month, after Google began forcing applications to support Google Play billing for most types of in-app purchases. Many apps on the Play Store previously used their own (or a third-party) billing system for purchases, where Google didn’t get a cut of the revenue.

Bandcamp has now filed a preliminary junction to prevent Google from removing Bandcamp from the Play Store. The company said in a blog post, “If Google’s policy changes starting June 1, we will either have to pay Google’s fees to consumers (making Android a less attractive platform for music fans), artists, and more. (which we will never do), permanently damage our Android business, or stop digital sales in the Android app. In addition, the policy change will affect our ability to pay artists quickly – Artists cannot be paid for 15 to 45 days after the sale, instead of receiving payment after 24 to 48 hours.”

This appears to be the first (public) legal challenge against requiring Google Play billing, with most other apps and services either switching to or removing the ability to purchase items in their Android apps. Audible and Barnes & Noble both recently removed the ability to purchase books from their Android apps, instead asking customers to purchase them at their respective web stores. Google is currently testing a ‘User Choice Billing’ program with Spotify, which allows some apps to have third-party payment systems, as long as Play billing is still an option.

Source: band camp
via: Engadget

Leave a Reply