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Los Angeles-based company, Wixen Music Publishing, recently sued Spotify for copyright infringement. Wixen handles copyright management and royalty compliance for artists such as Tom Petty, Neil Young, Missy Elliott, Stevie Nicks, the Doors, and Steely Dan. Seeking $1.6 billion in damages and a ruling preventing Spotify from playing these songs until properly negotiated with the rights holders, the publishing company alleges the music streaming giant provided tens of thousands of songs to its users without proper licenses or compensation. In particular, Spotify failed to obtain a license from Wixen that would permit it to reproduce and distribute the songs. U.S. copyright law provides two separate copyrights for every recorded song: one for the musical composition (the words and musical notation) and one for the actual sound recording. In some instances, Spotify took the easy route by obtaining only the sound recording copyrights in the songs but failed to obtain equivalent rights for the accompanying compositions. This case is not a first for Spotify as only last year, it settled multiple other lawsuits under very similar facts. Nonetheless, Spotify maintains it is not always able to determine the identity of the rights holders. Ultimately, Wixen’s complaint contends, Spotify has developed into a multibillion dollar company built “on the backs of songwriters and publishers” and these parties have been wrongfully denied their fair share in Spotify’s success. #omnilegalgroup #copyright #Spotify