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

Spotify is being sued by a major music publisher for $1.6 billion

Wixen filed the lawsuit on December 29 and is seeking at least $1.6 billion, in addition to injunctive relief.

Wixen Music Publishing now represent the catalogs of Journey, Missy Elliott, Rage Against The Machine, Weezer, and over 2000 more artists. Wixen handles copyright management and royalty compliance for artists including Tom Petty, The Doors, Neil Young and Missy Elliot. Some noted songs include The Doors' Light My Fire and Tom Petty's Free Fallin'. Like the earlier case, these ones held that Spotify hadn't fully complied with obligations under Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act. Spotify has maintained it wants to properly compensate for the music it streams, but has not always been able to find the data to identify rights holders.

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Spotify has been embroiled in a number of battles with music publishers and musicians as of late, and the new influence of shareholders could make the company even more intransigent than it already has been.

A Spotify rep declined to comment.

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With 60 million paying customers and additional advertising revenue, Spotify are not thought to be looking to raise capital, but are instead attempting a unique trading system known as "direct listing". Song licensee Wixen Music Publishing filed the suit in California federal court. "Wixen notified Spotify that it had neither obtained a direct or compulsory mechanical license for the use of the Works". It is reportedly valued at $19bn, and is expected to be floated on the stock market later this year.

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