It’s not the first time the company has come under fire for not paying licenses, but it’s the biggest case by far.
It seems that along with new opportunities, 2018 is bringing some of the same old headaches for music-streaming giant Spotify, as it has been announced today that they have been slapped with a $1.6 billion suit by Wixen Music Publishing. Wixen, who’s music catalog includes songs by the likes of Weezer, Tom Petty and The Black Keys, alleges that Spotify is using from their catalog without the necessary or proper licensing or compensation. In addition to the massive sum of money listed in the suit, Wixen also is also seeking an injunctive relief that would legally require Spotify to “develop and implement procedures for identifying and properly licensing songs”.
This all might seem like it’s very heavy-handed or coming out of the blue, but this is not the first time that Spotify has run afoul of publishing services and artists. In fact, the company has quite a bit of a shady past when it comes to avoiding licensing fees. In 2017, an investigation found that Spotify and some of its users were using fake artist profiles to generate streams based on popular content, generating revenue for the service and fake profiles that wouldn’t have to be paid in royalties to the actual artists.
Additionally, Spotify is currently engaged in another lawsuit with Bob Gaudio from Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, who alleges that Spotify has failed to comply with a section of the U.S. Copyright Act by failing to send “notice of intention” to reproduce their music online. All of this comes after a recent suit to the tune of $43 million filed by songwriters David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick, who allege that the company has not paid them royalties due. In 2016, Spotify also ponied up $30 million in unpaid royalties to the National Music Publishers’ Association.
While the company is raking in billions in revenues, it’s losses were still pretty substantial in 2017, coming in somewhere between 100 million and 200 million euros. If the company hopes to avoid the seemingly inevitable fate that awaits its competitor Soundcloud, then they might want to start ponying up the cash soon and avoiding big-time lawsuits such as these.
Check out the original post from Baeble Music here.
About Baeble Music: Baeble Music is a Brooklyn-based music platform dedicated to providing high quality, originally produced video programming that extends far beyond its web-based home and its city borders. The Baeble Platform spans the Web, Video Apps, Smart TV’s, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV and now Cable TV in 50 markets.