WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. NOT PARTICIPATING IN FERRICK VS. SPOTIFY CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT, INSTEAD SEEKING AMICABLE SETTLEMENT
DT: JANUARY 2, 2018
FM: MITCH SCHNEIDER/MIKE GOWEN
WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC.
AND ITS CLIENTS HAVE ELECTED NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FERRICK VS. SPOTIFY CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT THAT ADDRESSES WRONGDOING BY SPOTIFY
INSTEAD, AIM FOR AMICABLE SETTLEMENT FOR ITS PAST INFRINGEMENTS AND UNLICENSED USES, AND SEEKS TO WORK OUT A GO-FORWARD LICENSE WHICH IS FAIR TO ALL PARTIES
WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. is well-known in the music industry for supporting the rights of songwriters and publishers. Founded in 1978, the Los Angeles-based company represents thousands of songwriters and publishers, including many of the top acts in music.
On December 21, 2017, Congressman Doug Collins introduced the Music Modernization Act Of 2017. WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. recognizes that a good deal of compromise went into crafting a bill that would please a diverse coalition of music industry groups and praises David Israelite and the NMPA for their help in working with Congressman Collins on this legislation.
In spite of its general support for the Act, WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. president Randall Wixen explains that “unfortunately the bill disenfranchises our clients from legal redress for infringements made of their songs without proper licenses by various streaming services.” Within the Act is a provision that (once the bill becomes law) would eliminate important legal remedies that publishers have against Spotify and similar services that may have infringed their works if suits were filed on or after January 1, 2018.
WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. and its clients have elected not to participate in the Ferrick vs. Spotify class action lawsuit that addresses this wrongdoing by Spotify, in part because of their belief that the proposed settlement is inadequate, because too much of the settlement is going to legal fees, and because the terms of the go-forward license in the settlement are not in their long-term best interests. WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. was and is desirous of sitting down with Spotify to work out an amicable settlement for its past infringements and unlicensed uses, and seeks to work out a go-forward license which is fair to all parties.
Mr. Wixen remarked: “We are very disappointed that these services will retroactively get a free pass for actions that were previously illegal unless we actually file suit before January 1, 2018. Neither we nor our clients are interested in becoming litigants but we have been faced with a choice of forfeiting rights and damages, or taking action at this time. We regret that this otherwise admirable proposed bill has had this effect, and we hope that Spotify nonetheless comes to the table with a fair and reasonable approach to reaching a resolution with us. We are fully prepared to go as far forward in the courts as required to protect our clients’ rights.”
Wixen continues: “We’re just asking to be treated fairly. We are not looking for a ridiculous punitive payment. But we estimate that our clients account for somewhere between 1% and 5% of the music these services distribute. Spotify has more than $3 billion in annual revenue and pays outrageous annual salaries to its executives and millions per month for ultra-luxurious office space in various cities. All we’re asking for is for them to reasonably compensate our clients by sharing a miniscule amount of the revenue they take in with the creators of the product they sell. Music fans should be able to enjoy Spotify, knowing that their favorite artists are being treated fairly.”