By David McNally
Wixen Music Publishing is suing Spotify, accusing the streaming service of failing to obtain licenses for thousands of musical compositions. Wixen’s clients include Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, Escape The Fate, and Tim Armstrong, and more.
The Wixen suit reads: "Prior to launching in the United States, Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording or comply with the requirements of Section 115 of the Copyright Act."
Section 115 of the Copyright Act requires redistributors to acquire a license in the right of the compulsory licensee to distribute or authorize the distribution of a phonorecord of a nondramatic musical work by means of a digital transmission, which constitutes a digital phonorecord delivery.
This isn’t the first lawsuit focused on Spotify’s failure to pay royalties. In 2016, Spotify proposed a $43 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by a group of songwriters, claiming the streaming service failed to comply with the Copyright Act.
Considering that as of July 2017, Spotify had 60 million paying subscribers, it will be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out and how it effects the streaming service.
It’s great to save storage space on devices by streaming, but the lawsuit begs the question of what ever happened to the days where you just illegally downloaded everything from the Internet?