Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit

Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit

Wixen Music Publishing, a song licensee, sued Spotify last week in California federal court, alleging the music-streaming startup is using its songs without the proper license or license and compensation to the music publisher. Wixen is seeking at least $1.6 Billion as well as injunctive relief from Spotify in the lawsuit.

The company administers the song compositions by Tom Petty, Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, David Cassidy, Neil Young, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Stevie Nicks, and many others.

Before Spotify launched in the US, the company made deals with major record labels to obtain the appropriate rights to the sound recording copyrights in the songs, the lawsuit states. "But Spotify failed to properly obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions".

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A recent proposed settlement involving rights holders and Spotify in the class action lawsuit Ferrick et al. v. Spotify USA Inc.et al does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents. Overall, Wixen alleges, more than 6 million of Spotify's songs are improperly licensed, representing about a fifth of its catalog. They're arguing that Wixen's contract with their songwriters won't let them take legal actions on the songwriters behalf.

"As a direct and proximate result of Spotify's willful and infringing conduct, Wixen is entitled to actual damages, including the substantial profits of Spotify", the suit reads.

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