Streaming giant Spotify is being sued for $1.6m by Wixen Music Publishing Inc, a Californian-based music publishing company.
Wixen (who collect royalties on behalf of artists) allege that Spotify has been streaming songs without holding the right licenses. They’re claiming breach of US copyright law on two accounts per song – one for its recording, and another for its composition – for over 10,000 songs.
Wixen allege that Spotify didn’t obtained composition rights, because Harry Fox Agency, a third party that Spotify instructs, failed to provide necessary licensing and royalty services.
They now seek damages of $150,000 per song. The bill could be enormous.
Spotify have yet to comment on the lawsuit.
This is not the first time that Spotify, officially launched in October 2008, has been in royalty and copyright disputes. There are claims currently ongoing against the giant, including one on behalf of the group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
It seems much of the music industry feels aggrieved by streaming companies like Spotify.
While these services provide instant, easy, and often cheap access to media for consumers, the artists now earn far less in royalties – only a percentage of a cent per stream.
Spotify, by comparison, is now worth approximately $19bn.
We await the verdict (and any footed bill) from across the pond.
For more information, please contact Nick Lewis.
To read the rest of this month's updates, please click here.