Spotify faces $1.6bn copyright lawsuit

We doubt we were alone in hoping that the first Spotify-related news of 2018 would be the announcement of a Hi-Fi tier – will this year be the year?

But instead we hear that the Stockholm-based music streaming service is facing a $1.6bn copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, as reported by Hollywood Reporter.

Wixen, who filed a lawsuit in California federal court in December, claims Spotify has streamed tens of thousands of songs – from artists including Tom Petty, Neil Young, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and many more – without a license and compensation.

This isn’t the first time Spotify has come under fire for (or settled) copyright issues from record labels.

Only last summer, Spotify faced a suggested $43m settlement, which is still yet to be approved in court, to resolve a class action from a group of songwriters and publishes whose compositions Spotify streamed without a license - but Wixen became part of a movement objecting to that settlement.

It also agreed a $30m settlement deal with National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) for unpaid royalties in 2016.

With Spotify facing more litigation, then, and Tidal reportedly in trouble, it could be an interesting year for streaming services...


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.