Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

Tom Petty
Oakland Calif. Tim Mosenfelder Getty Images

03 January, 2018

The music industry has long since been at odds with music streaming and it appears that the battle isn't over yet.

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. The music licensing company says it represents Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Neil Young, Weezer, and the Beach Boys, among other artists. In addition, Spotify will also have to create some sort of method to identify and license songs properly. Since songs by these artists have been listened to well into the multi-millions of times, that all adds up. Wixen claims that Spotify has used their copyrighted material without a license. All of this comes after a recent suit to the tune of $43 million filed by songwriters David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick, who allege that the company has not paid them royalties due. The Swedish-based streaming service was also hit with two more copyright lawsuits in July.

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"As a result, Spotify has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotify is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses", Wixen said. And then there are the curious allegations stemming from seemingly-fake bands that are gobbling up potential profits from real bands in what might be a scheme created by Spotify themselves. This won't the last you hear about legal trouble in this arena.

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