$1.6bn Lawsuit Over Rights Of Songwriters Settled By Spotify


Spotify, a music streaming platform, has settled a lawsuit with Wixen Music Publishing. The latter had sought damages amounting to $1.6 billion (£1.3 billion) over the hosting of thousands of songs even without a sufficient copyright licence.

Wixen, a firm that is based in California, alleged Spotify of infringing the rights of publishers and songwriters on more than 10,000 of its songs and underpaying them while giving out “outrageous annual salaries to its executives.”

Some of the copyrighted content of the publisher includes songs from the likes of Neil Young, the Black Keys, and Tom Petty.

On Friday, the firms announced that the lawsuit had already been settled outside of court, however, the complexities of the said deal and the fees were not disclosed.

Wixen claimed that Spotify was not able to address the rights of both the publishers and songwriters, who have different claims to the compositions.

According to a joint-statement, as part of the deal that has been struck by both the company, the pair will be working more closely together in the future.

In a statement, the two companies disclosed: “Wixen Music Publishing and Spotify USA have agreed to a final dismissal of the lawsuit filed by Wixen Music Publishing late last year.”

It added: “The conclusion of that litigation is a part of a broader business partnership between the parties, which fairly and reasonably resolves the legal claims asserted by Wixen Music Publishing relating to past licensing of Wixen’s catalog and establishes a mutually-advantageous relationship for the future.”

There is a financial component to the settlement, however, it is clearly not the $1.6 billion that was originally demanded by Wixen, or Spotify would have been required to disclose that number to its shareholders through a filing. However, it is understood that the entirety of the funds from the said settlement are going toward back-royalty payments, while the rest of the agreement involves how the royalties will be paid going forward.