Spotify settles its $1.6 billion publishing lawsuit

Spotify and Wixen, publisher of artists like Neil Young and Tom Petty, reach resolution with undisclosed sum

Published December 20, 2018 8:15PM (EST)

 (Getty/Jonathan Nackstrand)
(Getty/Jonathan Nackstrand)

This article originally appeared on IndieWire.

Spotify announced on Thursday that it has settled the lawsuit brought forth a year ago by Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher representing the works of artists including Neil Young, The Doors and Tom Petty. The massive lawsuit alleging that Spotify was using thousands of songs without the proper licensing and compensation — in which Wixen was reportedly seeking damages of up to $1.6 billion — has concluded with a final dismissal of the suit and a “broader business partnership between the parties.”

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Wixen raised the case in December 2017, claiming that the music-tech giant was hosting tens of thousands of songs managed by Wixen on its streaming service without holding the proper copyright to them. It also said Spotify offered “outrageous annual salaries to its executives” while skimping on artist payments. (For more, see Rolling Stone‘s breakdown of the case here.)

Thursday’s settlement of the lawsuit, which involves Spotify paying an undisclosed sum to the publisher, has a markedly different tone, with Wixen’s president Randall Wixen calling the streaming service a “true partner to the songwriting community.”

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Read the full statement below.

Spotify and Wixen Announcement of Resolution of Dispute

Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. and Spotify USA Inc. have agreed to a final dismissal of the lawsuit filed by Wixen Music Publishing late last year. The conclusion of that litigation is a part of a broader business partnership between the parties, which fairly and reasonably resolves the legal claims asserted by Wixen Music Publishing relating to past licensing of Wixen’s catalog and establishes a mutually-advantageous relationship for the future.

Company president Randall Wixen said “I want to thank Daniel Ek and Horacio Gutierrez, and the whole Spotify team, for working with the Wixen team, our attorneys and our clients to understand our issues, and for collaborating with us on a win-win resolution. Spotify is a huge part of the future of music, and we look forward to bringing more great music from our clients to the public on terms that compensate songwriters and publishers as important partners. I am truly glad that we were able to come to a resolution without litigating the matter. Spotify listened to our concerns, collaborated with us to resolve them and demonstrated throughout that Spotify is a true partner to the songwriting community.”

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“We’d like to thank Randall Wixen and Wixen Music Publishing for their cooperation in helping us reach a solution,” said Horacio Gutierrez, General Counsel and VP, Business & Legal Affairs, Spotify. “Wixen represents some of the world’s greatest talents and most treasured creators, and this settlement represents its commitment to providing first-rate service and support to songwriters while broadening its relationship with Spotify.”

By Amy X. Wang


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All Salon Culture Lawsuit Neil Young Rolling Stone Spotify The Doors Tom Petty Wixen Music Publishing