Spotify facing $1.6bn copyright lawsuit


Wixen Music Publishing filed court documents late a year ago suing Spotify, one of the leaders in music streaming, for a whopping $1.6 billion United States dollars.

The suit includes a 265-page list of thousands of its songs that Wixen says Spotify is streaming without proper licensing and compensation, including some of the biggest hits of acts like the Beach Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Tom Petty, Journey, Missy Elliott, Santana and the Black Keys. The lawsuit seeks at least $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive relief.

The federal lawsuit says almost 11,000 songs are affected, and each issue involves a penalty of $150,000, putting the total to at least $1.6 billion, according to a December 29 filing. "But Spotify failed to properly obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions".

Wixen also alleged that Spotify outsourced its work to a third party, licensing and royalty services provider the Harry Fox Agency, which was "ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary mechanical licenses".

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While Spotify has yet to comment on the lawsuit, it previously responded to Wixen's settlement objection by questioning its authority to represent its clients in matters of litigation. The complaint also claim that 21 percent of the 30 million songs on the streaming service aren't licensed either.

Much of the trouble for Spotify stems back to May of 2017 when it offered a $43 million settlement for a class-action suit that many of Wixen's artists were a part of.

I've reached out to Spotify and Wixen. That suit, Wixen alleges, "does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents".