Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

Spotify is facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher that represents artists like Tom Petty, Missy Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter first reported. The suit, filed December 29, alleges copyright infringement, specifically alleging Spotify is using thousands of its sungs without a proper license. The suit attempts at least $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive relief.

Before Spotify launched in the U.S ., the company made are dealing here with major record labels to obtain the appropriate rights to the sound recording copyrights in the ballads, the lawsuit countries. What Spotify failed to do, according to the lawsuit, was “obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions.”

The lawsuit goes on to say, “As a outcome, Spotify has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotify is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses, ” the lawsuit alleges.

Wixen also alleges Spotify has “knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly” reproduction those anthems over the internet to California residents.

This suit comes following a proposed $43 million settlement involving music rights holders and Spotify in a class-action lawsuit, Ferrick v. Spotify. That suit, Wixen alleges, “does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents.”

In that settlement, Spotify admitted to failing to obtain necessary statutory licenses to reproduce and/ or distribute musical compositions on its platform, the lawsuit says.

“Consequently, while Spotify has become a multibillion dollar company, songwriters and their publishers, such as Wixen, have not been able to somewhat and rightfully share in Spotify’s success, as Spotify has in many cases use their music without a license and without compensation, ” the lawsuit states.

I’ve reached out to Spotify and Wixen. I’ll update this story if I hear back. The example is Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. v Spotify USA.

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