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Publisher for Black Keys, Weezer, many others files massive lawsuit against Spotify

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Wixen Music Publishing, which administers song compositions by Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against The MachineThe Black KeysDan AuerbachWeezer's Rivers CuomoTom PettyNeil Young, the Doors and many more, has sued Swedish streaming giant Spotify for using thousands of songs allegedly without license and compensation, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The publishing company is reportedly seeking damages worth at least $1.6 billion, plus injunctive relief.

  • Several other lawsuits have already been filed previously that have centered around Spotify's alleged failure to pay royalties on a song's musical composition, one of two separate copyrights that can earn money for the artist, the writer and the owner of the recording.
  • The two copyrights are the sound recording, which is typically owned by the record label, and the musical composition, which is owned by the songwriter and publisher. Spotify settled a similar case last May for some $43 million, pending a judge's approval.
  • The Wixen suit stated, "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."
  • Representatives for both Wixen and Spotify have not commented further on the lawsuit, although Spotify has tried to claim in court papers that Wixen does not necessarily have the right to litigate on its clients' behalf in this matter.


READ: The Hollywood Reporter has more on this story

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