Spotify Slapped With $1.6 Billion Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Daniel Ek

CREDIT Courtesy of Daniel Ek

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. In 2017, an investigation found that Spotify and some of its users were using fake artist profiles to generate streams based on popular content, generating revenue for the service and fake profiles that wouldn't have to be paid in royalties to the actual artists.

Wixen Music Publishing, which owns songs by Tom Petty and Neil Young, is suing Spotify for $1.6 billion.

What do you think about this latest lawsuit against Spotify? In May, the streaming company proposed a $43 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit that alleged Spotify hadn't paid mechanical licenses for songwriters David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick's compositions. Aside from the $1.6 billion in damages-which Wixen says is the summation of $150,000 per composition used without the proper licensing-the publishers are also seeking attorneys' fees and costs and injunctive relief. Last year, the Swedish streaming giant came to a $43 million Dollars settlement with David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick over a class action copyright lawsuit. That suit, Wixen alleges, "does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents".

Wixen called the settlement, which still needs final approval from a judge, "grossly insufficient" and said that it would opt out of the deal insofar as possible.

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

Instead, the company says it "was and is desirous of sitting down with Spotify to work out an amicable settlement for its past infringements and unlicensed uses, and seeks to work out a go-forward license which is fair to all parties".

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