Spotify Sued For $1.6 Billion Over Tom Petty and Neil Young Songs

Delia Walker
January 7, 2018

The music-streaming company has confidentially filed for a public listing, sources told CNBC. Wixen handles copyright management and royalty compliance for artists including Tom Petty, The Doors, Neil Young and Missy Elliot.

Spotify is gearing up to launch an initial public offering, expected as soon as first quarter of 2018, after filing confidential documents with the SEC last month, according to reports.

As opposed to a traditional IPO, direct listing allows private stakeholders to buy shares only through an open market, avoiding underwriters' fees and stock sales restrictions.

Spotify is reportedly opting for a direct listing, rather than an IPO.

Nor has the company yet commented on the suit, but it has faced similar claims in the past.

According to the documents filed by Wixen, Spotify has approximately 30 million songs in its catalogue, and they allege that the company has infringed almost 6,300,000 of them, or around 21 per cent of its roster. They claim that the company doesn't have the right license or compensation to Wixen to stream the songs.

Spotify has been embroiled in copyright issues in the past: in May of previous year, the company came to a proposed $43-million settlement to resolve a class action copyright lawsuit filed by multiple songwriters. The legal action from Wixen actually comes on the heels of a class-action lawsuit from Melissa Ferrick and David Lowery, musicians who alleged that Spotify knowingly distributed unlicensed music and sought $150 million.

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