Late December last year, Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher that represents artists like Tom Petty, Missy Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young filed a suit against Spotify alleging that they are using thousands of its songs without proper license.
According to the lawsuit, Wixen Music Publishing is seeking at least $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive relief. Spotify made deals with major record labels to obtain the appropriate rights to the sound recording copyright of songs but fail to obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions.
Sequel to the failure of Spotify to obtain equivalent right for the compositions has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music is being used in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses – Lawsuit states.
Wixen also alleges Spotify has “knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly” reproduced those songs over the internet to California residents.
Wixen suit is following a recent settlement of $43 million involving music rights holders and Spotify in a class-action lawsuit, Ferrick v. Spotify where Spotify admitted to failing to obtain necessary statutory licenses to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its platform.
Consequently, while Spotify has become a multibillion dollar company, songwriters and their publishers, such as Wixen, have not been able to fairly and rightfully share in Spotify’s success, as Spotify has in many cases used their music without a license and without compensation – the lawsuit states.
A copy of the lawsuit is available here.