Spotify Hit With Massive $1.6 Billion Lawsuit from Music Publisher

  • Spotify Hit With Massive $1.6 Billion Lawsuit from Music Publisher

Spotify Hit With Massive $1.6 Billion Lawsuit from Music Publisher

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. As The Hollywood Reporter revealed, Wixen claims that songs like Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" and the Doors' "Light My Fire" are amongst tens of thousands of songs that are streaming without a license and compensation.

Since then, Radiohead's music has gradually made its way back to the streaming service.

Additionally, Spotify is now engaged in another lawsuit with Bob Gaudio from Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, who alleges that Spotify has failed to comply with a section of the U.S. Copyright Act by failing to send "notice of intention" to reproduce their music online. In May, it reached an agreement to settle a pair of two similar lawsuits under which Spotify said it would set up a $43.45 million fund to compensate songwriters.

Spotify filed court papers on Friday that questioned whether Wixen's clients had authorised the company to take that action, claiming that it had given its clients only a brief opt-out period before their names would be included in the suit.

A representative for Spotify declined Variety's request for comment.

Even if unsuccessful, lawsuits amount to a headache for Spotify as the company considers going public.

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".