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

Jan 03, 2018, 02:24
Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

The battle between songwriters, music publishers and Spotify intensified with the December 29th filing of the most serious lawsuit yet against the music streamer. Spotify has maintained it wants to properly compensate for the music it streams, but has not always been able to find the data to identify rights holders.

Music sharing platform Spotify has been hit with a $US1.6 billion ($A2.2 billion) lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, which handles titles by Tom Petty, Neil Young, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Stevie Nicks, and others.

The lawsuit comes after the Sweden-based music-streaming service agreed in May to pay more than $43 million to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit brought against it by songwriters who accused the company of not licensing or paying them for use of their music. Wixen Music Publishing filed court documents late past year suing Spotify, one of the leaders in music streaming, for a whopping $1.6 billion Dollars.

What do you think about this latest lawsuit against Spotify? In 2016, Spotify also ponied up $30 million in unpaid royalties to the National Music Publishers' Association. But Spotify is likely looking forward to a possible legislative solution to how to handle licensing of songs.

The suit alleges that the streaming giant failed to get the proper mechanical licences to "to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service".

Wixen Music Publishing Inc., which represents the rights of songwriters and publishers, accuses Spotify USA Inc. of prioritizing record labels at the expense of songwriters and publishers. "Neither we nor our clients are interested in becoming litigants but we have been faced with a choice of forfeiting rights and damages, or taking action at this time".