Spotify is kicking its 2018 off with some legal excitement: a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Calabasas, California-based company Wixen Music Publishing, who represents household names including Tom Petty, Kim Gordon, Neil Young and Stevie Knicks, along with members of acts like Weezer, The Black Keys and Steely Dan.
The suit was filed on November 29 by the company that claims the largest music streaming service used Petty’s “Free Fallin,” the Doors’ “Light My Fire,” and thousands of other songs without compensation or a license.
Variety reports that in May, Spotify proposed a $43 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit from a collective of songwriters represented by Wixen. But now the music publisher’s lawsuit says that the settlement “does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents.”
The lawsuit further details how Spotify failed to collect the “musical composition information” needed to properly license songs.
Instead of obtaining a license directly from Wixen, Spotify handed over that responsibility to the Harry Fox Agency, which Spotify allegedly knew “did not possess the infrastructure to obtain the required mechanical licenses,” according to the lawsuit.
As of late, Spotify has had a lot going on. Aside from musicians like Thom Yorke arguing about whether they’re being compensated enough by having their music in the platform’s 30-million-track catalog, this lawsuit unfolds as the company reportedly plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange with at least a 19 billion dollar valuation.
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