Spotify today announced it has agreed to settle a $1.6 billion lawsuit filed last December by Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher representing the work of artists like Missy Elliot and Al Green. The lawsuit alleged the music streaming giant was using tens of thousands of songs without securing and paying for the proper license.
When the lawsuit was filed, Wixen claimed that of the 30 million songs Spotify had in its vast music library, the company failed to pay songwriter royalties 21 percent of the time.
“Spotify failed to properly obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions,” the complaint says. “Spotify has built a billion-dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers.”
The music publishing company was seeking damages of at least $1.6 billion, asking for $150,000 for each song.
“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,” said Randall Wixen, president of Wixen Music Publishing, Inc., in a statement. “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,” he added.