Spotify facing $1.6bn copyright lawsuit

Spotify facing $1.6bn copyright lawsuit

Spotify facing $1.6bn copyright lawsuit

It seems that along with new opportunities, 2018 is bringing some of the same old headaches for music-streaming giant Spotify, as it has been announced today that they have been slapped with a $1.6 billion suit by Wixen Music Publishing.

Wixen, an exclusive licensee of songs such as "Free Fallin" by Tom Petty, "Light My Fire" by the Doors, (Girl We Got a) Good Thing by Weezer and works of singers such as Stevie Nicks, is seeking damages worth at least $1.6bn (£1.2bn) along with injunctive relief.

Wixen Music Publishing filed the suit last Friday in a California federal court, alleging that the music streaming service is illegally using thousands of songs.

After Tom Petty passed away in October, music fans headed to Spotify in droves to listen to his music and sample the featured playlists that the streaming service created in his honor.

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. Overall, Wixen alleges, more than 6 million of Spotify's songs are improperly licensed, representing about a fifth of its catalog. "But Spotify failed to properly obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions". In 2016, Spotify also ponied up $30 million in unpaid royalties to the National Music Publishers' Association.

I've reached out to Spotify and Wixen.

In May, Spotify settled a class action lawsuit with various songwriters for $43 million over claims that they hadn't adequately paid licenses.

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