Spotify and Wixen Music Publishing End Dispute Over Song Licensing

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Wixen Music Publishing and Spotify have put aside a potentially costly lawsuit filed by the publisher late last year that alleged the streaming service had been using tens of thousands of its songs without a license. In the original filing, dated Dec. 29, 2017, Wixen sought damages worth at least $1.6 billion.

The lawsuit's dismissal ushers in a "broader" business partnership between the two parties and "fairly and reasonably resolves" Wixen's claims related to the licensing of its catalog, according to a statement.

As previously reported, Wixen filed suit against Spotify after opting-out of an earlier class action suit filed by singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick and others, for which Spotify announced a $43 million settlement. Wixen Music objected to that deal, resulting in its own lawsuit against the streaming giant, which it claimed "committed willful, ongoing copyright infringement."

Wixen Music Publishing administers compositions by numerous high profile songwriters, including Tom Petty, Neil Young, The Byrds' Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, the Beach Boys, Townes Van Zandt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Jonathan Richman, and Rage Against the Machine's Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello, among many others.

"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 Wixen president Randall Wixen. "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."

Added Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel and vp, business and legal affairs at 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."