Spotify hit with $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit

Delia Walker
January 7, 2018

Earlier in the week it was reported that Spotify used the Christmas break - when everyone was otherwise occupied - to file some confidential paperwork in relation to its long awaited stock market listing. First, it is next to impossible to track and file litigation against all the individuals who are illegally downloading and redistributing music content, but it is definitely possible to identify these major companies that are making it possible. That unusual move would enable Spotify to go public while saving money on the underwriting fees that companies typically pay to investment banks when they hold an IPO.

Now available in 61 markets and expanding, Spotify offers 30 million songs and has over 2 billion playlists which form a unique algorithm that provides relevant music to all the paying users.

Spotify's top content executive is leaving, just ahead of the streaming music company's planned public offering.

But now it needs to deal with Wixen's lawsuit. Some of these songs are owned by Wixen via copyright.

Spotify filed court papers on Friday that questioned whether Wixen's clients had authorized the company to take that action, claiming that it had given its clients only a brief opt-out period before their names would be included in the suit.

If you are wondering why Spotify would make such an obvious blunder, it seems that they made the mistake of outsourcing the licensing responsibilities to a third-party agency that was ill-equipped to take on the monumental task of getting all of the licenses in place. In its lawsuit, it said its songs have been downloaded or streamed billions of times through Spotify and that it received no revenue for that.

Spotify is facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit, issued by Wixen Music Publishing.

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