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Spotify in copyright hot water once more

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 04 January 2018

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Spotify, which launched in 2008, has become one of the most recognised and used services in the music industry, used by 140 million people across the globe.

For a business who have not be established for that long, you would think a priority would be to keep on the right side of others in music.

However, this is something that Spotify have not done.

In May 2017, the service proposed a $43 million settlement to compensate those songwriters and publishers would have not been properly paid for licenses of musical compositions. Spotify hoped this would cover all past infringement, but if the latest claim is anything to go by, they could not have been further from the truth.

Wixen Music Publishing who have over 2,000 clients including The Doors, Neil Young and Tom Petty have administered more than 50,000 songs.

Wixen has alleged that thousands of these songs have been used by Spotify with the appropriate license in respect of the music compositions.

Wixen highlights that their own clients may not be the only ones affected as they believe 21% of the 30 million songs on Spotify may be unlicensed.

Spotify have done themselves no favours as they have openly admitted to infringing copyright on numerous occasions in the past.

Wixen is seeking at least $1.6 billion in damages, which equates to $150,000 per song for more than 10,000 songs, as well as injunctive relief to ensure Spotify change their way in the future and put measures in place to obtain the right licenses.

This would be an eyewatering sum for many but as Spotify was valued at $16 billion in 2017, it may not be enough to rock the boat to see a change.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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