Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Spotify Hit With Massive $1.6 Billion Lawsuit from Music Publisher

Wixen Music Publishing files a new lawsuit that also covers music from Rage Against the Machine The Doors Steely Dan and many others Michael Kovac WireImage
Diane Mills | 03 January, 2018, 02:11

The lawsuit seeks at least $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive relief. The music licensing company says it represents Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Neil Young, Weezer, and the Beach Boys, among other artists. In return, Spotify questioned Wixen's standing in the case, countering that while the publisher has the rights to administer these songs, their deals did not explicitly include the right to litigate on behalf of the songwriters. As The Hollywood Reporter revealed, Wixen claims that songs like Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" and the Doors' "Light My Fire" are amongst tens of thousands of songs that are streaming without a license and compensation.

This all might seem like it's very heavy-handed or coming out of the blue, but this is not the first time that Spotify has run afoul of publishing services and artists.

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A spokesman for Spotify USA, the US subsidiary of Spotify AB of Sweden, told NBC News the company had no comment. In May, the streaming company proposed a $43 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit that alleged Spotify hadn't paid mechanical licenses for songwriters David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick's compositions. Wixen's lawsuit paints the problem as systematic, claiming that as much as 21 percent of the music streaming on Spotify is unlicensed.

Their actual copyright lawsuit states under the segment "Nature of the Lawsuit, ' that "Wixen brings this action against Spotify for willfully infringing the copyrights in the musical compositions listed in Exhibit A (each a "Work" and collectively the 'Works")". In 2016, Spotify also ponied up $30 million in unpaid royalties to the National Music Publishers' Association.

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