Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement
07 January, 2018, 01:54 | Author: Lynette Payne
Spotify is likely gunning to list in Q1, though Axios suggests a $1.6 billion music-licensing lawsuit that Wixen Music Publishing filed against the company in the past week may complicate the timeline and the overall IPO process. Wixen handles copyright management and royalty compliance for artists including Tom Petty, The Doors, Neil Young and Missy Elliot. By pursuing a direct listing, Spotify can skirt underwriting fees typically required for an IPO, though the move could hurt its shares because underwriters won't be evaluating or buoying the price.
Spotify filed papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in late December with a view to going public in the first quarter of 2018, according to US reports. Spotify declined to comment when contacted by Fortune.
The suit alleges that the streaming giant failed to get the proper mechanical licences to "to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service". Wixen claims that Spotify didn't obtain the composition rights in their deals, and is seeking damages of $150,000 per song, for over 10,000 songs.
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Spotify has been embroiled in copyright issues in the past: in May of previous year, the company came to a proposed $43-million settlement to resolve a class action copyright lawsuit filed by multiple songwriters. The case is Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. v Spotify USA.
The lawsuit was filed in California last Friday, and alleges that Spotify has been using "thousands of songs" without the correct license.
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