The Hollywood Reporter was first to announce Spotify’s settlement clause with a number of artist to a total in the millions for copyright fees. Several years ago, Spotify was hit with class action suits demanding proper accreditation for songwriters. The streaming service breathed a relative sigh of relief when the number rested at $112.55 million, it could have been a lot worse. That total includes an “immediate cash payout of $43.5 million,” and an ongoing commitment to pay royalties to the artists included in the lawsuit.
One of the warring parties, Wixen Music Publishing, which manages the interests of artists such as Neil Young, Tom Petty, the Black Keys and Janis Joplin feels they have been presented with a lowball figure. The publishing group was seeking an upwards of $1.6 million in remuneration before legislation was passed prohibited an exchange between artist and marketplace. Wixen released the following statement maintain a strong case against the legality of Spotify’s means of business: “The Settlement Agreement is procedurally and substantively unfair to Settlement Class Members because it prevents meaningful participation by rights holders and offers them an unfair dollar amount.” Wixen’s response goes on to frame the practices of Spotify as an “infringement” of their works. They being the artists represented as a whole, globally. The approval of the deal is in some ways, an admission of guilt.