Spotify hit with $1.6bn copyright lawsuit over music by Neil Young, Tom Petty and The Doors

Spotify allegedly using thousands of songs without a licence and compensation to music publisher Wixen

Sonam Rai,Eric Auchard
Wednesday 03 January 2018 09:18
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In May, the Stockholm-based company agreed to pay more than $43m to settle a proposed class action
In May, the Stockholm-based company agreed to pay more than $43m to settle a proposed class action

Music streaming company Spotify was sued by Wixen Music last week 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 $1.6bn (£1.18bn) along with injunctive relief.

Spotify failed to get a direct or a compulsory license from Wixen that would allow it to reproduce and distribute the songs, Wixen said in the lawsuit, filed in a California federal court.

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 declined to comment.

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

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

Reuters

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