Wixen Music Publishing, the famous publisher that represents eminent artists like Tom Petty, Missy Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young has filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify. The lawsuit alleges Spotify of copyright infringement stating that thousands of songs on the platform do not have a proper license and seeks around $1.6 billion in damages along with injunctive relief.
According to Wixen, Spotify is streaming a lot of songs including some popular tracks like “Free Fallin’” and The Doors’ “Light My Fire” in its library without acquiring proper licensing rights. As a result, Wixen is expecting some serious financial reimbursements to make up for the contraventions. Around 21% of the songs on Spotify are not properly licensed.
Spotify’s copyright infringement problem has been swelling day by day. In May 2017, Spotify was slapped with a lawsuit by Cracker and Camper van Beethoven frontman David Lowery and singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick. Spotify had to pay $43 million as a compensation for using their compositions without paying mechanical royalties. Later, in July, the music streaming platform was struck with two more lawsuits. Of these, one was from Bob Gaudio, a songwriter and founding member of the group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons stating that the music streaming platform had not fully complied with obligations under Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act. In 2016, it paid $20 million to a number of publishers under National Music Publishers’ Association in outstanding royalties.
Spotify is the currently most successful music streaming application. It has over 140 million users of which 60 million are paying subscribers. It is currently valued at around $19 billion. The company is planning to go public on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. After this move, It would be one of the largest consumer technology providers to public in recent years. Its equity was valued at $8.5 billion after it raised $526 million two years ago.