Spotify have settled their lawsuit with Wixen Music Publishing for an undisclosed amount of money after more than a year worth of legal issues. The publisher, who owns rights for many songs by Tom Petty, Missy Elliott, Neil Young, Weezer and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, claimed that Spotify used a large number of songs from their catalog without awarding royalties, thus violating their copyright.
Last year it was announced that Wixen were pursuing over $1.6 billion in damages from the music streaming service in December of 2017. While the amount has not been publically announced, according to TechCrunch “Spotify has not filed a disclosure to shareholders with the SEC — an indication that the $1.6 billion was not awarded.”
This suit alleged that tens of thousands of songs that had their publishing rights under Wixen were featured on their website with the proper licensing deals. They further alleged that the company failed to pay songwriter royalties to publishers approximately 21 percent of the time, for the over 30 million songs in their catalogs.
This is not the first time the popular streaming service has faced legal trouble, this year it was sued by a former executive in a gender discrimination case, while it settled a different class action lawsuit in May. Despite this, likely as part of the settlement, both parties have released statements in support of this resolution.
“I want to thank Daniel Ek and Horacio Gutierrez, and the whole Spotify team, for working with the Wixen team, our attorneys and our clients to understand our issues, and for collaborating with us on a win-win resolution,” Randall Wixen, president of Wixen Music Publishing, Inc., said in a statement released to Tech Crunch.
Both of the parties have released statements regarding this settlement, and have discussed working toward a possible partnership in the future. While it is unknown what this partnership will entail, it may seek to remedy the current issue of paying out royalties to the publisher.
“Spotify is a huge part of the future of music, and we look forward to bringing more great music from our clients to the public on terms that compensate songwriters and publishers as important partners,” Wixen further elaborated.”I am truly glad that we were able to come to a resolution without litigating the matter. Spotify listened to our concerns, collaborated with us to resolve them and demonstrated throughout that Spotify is a true partner to the songwriting community.”
Spotify’s legal team has also released a statement indicating future work with the publisher. They indicate that the will be “broaden[ing]” their relationship with Wixen, as part of this settlement.
“We’d like to thank Randall Wixen and Wixen Music Publishing for their cooperation in helping us reach a solution,” Spotify general counsel and Business & Legal Affairs VP Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement. “Wixen represents some of the world’s greatest talents and most treasured creators, and this settlement represents its commitment to providing first-rate service and support to songwriters while broadening its relationship with Spotify.”
While Spotify has reached a record 180 million users earlier this year, they have also faced other financial troubles this year, recording a net loss of $565 million combined. Despite these losses, analysts are more supportive in the long-term gains the company will likely have in the future.