The music publisher; Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. who represents artists like; Audioslave, The Doors, Sonny & Cher, The Beach Boys and Missy Elliott are suing Spotify for $1.6 billion due to a vast copyright infringement.
Spotify have been caught out streaming songs on their platform without obtaining the correct licenses first. It has been discovered that Spotify do have the sound recording copyrights, but they have yet to obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions.
Many singers/songwriters and users of the service have criticised Spotify as they have made billions of dollars, reportedly knowing they didn’t have the correct licenses, whereas the people who create the content lose out.
This isn’t the first time the online music streaming service has had legal issues over licensing; in May 2017, Spotify offered to pay Wixen (a name we’ve heard before?) $43 million to settle a lawsuit for not licensing their songs properly. However, Wixen refused so this is still ongoing.
It is understandable why creators would be angry and would want to sue Spotify for profiting off of their content, however, a lot of people are involved in making a song and sourcing the meta data (which includes the co-writers, vocalists, covers etc.) can prove difficult if you host over 30 million songs on your platform.
We are a world of sharing and streaming, nothing is going to change yet, so the best course of action is for both parties to collaborate. Wixen should readily provide the metadata or provide a source to where this is easily accessible; Spotify should then use the information to identify who they are to pay and include in their license. This collaboration and new way of thinking would result in everyone involved in making a song, being fairly paid for what they have produced.