Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit over alleged copyright infringement

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  • Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing after being accused of infringing the rights of songwriters and publishers.

    The suit was filed on December 29th and alleges copyright infringement, alleging that Spotify has used thousands of songs without a proper license.

    Before launching in the U.S., Spotify made deals with major record labels to obtain the appropriate rights to the sound recording copyrights in the songs, as stated by the lawsuit.

    However, they failed to “obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions”, according to the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit continues to say, “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,” the lawsuit alleges.

    Wixen also alleges Spotify has “knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly” reproduced those songs over the internet to California residents.

    “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.

    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 licences.”

    In May, Spotify agreed to pay more than $43 million to settle a proposed class action alleging it failed to pay royalties for some of the songs it makes available to users. 

     

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