Spotify hit with $1.6B Copyright Lawsuit

Reports have surfaced that Wixen Music Publishing Inc. is suing music streaming company Spotify for allegedly using thousands of songs, including those of Tom Petty, Neil Young and the Doors, without a license and compensation to the music publisher.

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 $1.6 billion along with injunctive relief, according to Reuters.

The publishing company argues that Spotify doesn’t do enough to identify the rights holders of songs it licenses from labels, as the complaint reads, in part: “Prior to launching in the United States, Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording or comply with the requirements of Section 115 of the Copyright Act.”

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”.

Spotify, which is planning a stock market listing this year, has grown around 20 percent in value to at least $19 billion in the past few months.

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