Spotify hit with $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit

03 January, 2018, 01:58 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • Wixen Music Publishing Inc.- which holds rights to songs of major artists including Neil Young The Doors Tom Petty and Santana- charged in a lawsuit that Spotify failed to seek licenses for significant parts of its 30 million-song catalog

Wixen Music Publishing filed the lawsuit in California federal court on December 29, alleging the streaming giant is using Petty's "Free Fallin'" and tens of thousands of other songs without license or compensation. In addition to Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Rivers Cuomo, Wixen also represents big names such as Stevie Nicks, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, and more.

The suit seeks damages of $150,000 apiece for more than 10,000 songs represented by Wixen that it says are unlicensed.

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Spotify had no comment on the lawsuit for TheWrap.

Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing. They're arguing that Wixen's contract with their songwriters won't let them take legal actions on the songwriters behalf. In 2017, an investigation found that Spotify and some of its users were using fake artist profiles to generate streams based on popular content, generating revenue for the service and fake profiles that wouldn't have to be paid in royalties to the actual artists. The complaint also claim that 21 percent of the 30 million songs on the streaming service aren't licensed either.

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This suit comes following a proposed $43 million settlement involving music rights holders and Spotify in a class-action lawsuit, Ferrick v. Spotify.

"Prior to launching in the United States, Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording" according to the lawsuit.

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