Spotify is facing an army of angry songwriters and publishers. On Tuesday this week, some big names made an appearance in court to challenge what Spotify proposes to give to them to make up for past streams. And on Wednesday, the streaming giant was hit with a new lawsuit as well as a harsh reply to a provocative legal argument that Spotify advanced only two weeks ago.
With a proposed $43 million settlement announced in May to potentially resolve a class action lawsuit, Spotify had perhaps hoped to move past any copyright troubles in advance of a stock sell that could value the company north of $10 billion. The plaintiffs in that case had alleged that Spotify hasn’t adequately paid mechanical licenses for song compositions. A deal was struck, but it still requires a judge’s approval.
Now, hundreds of musicians and publishers are coming forward to object to the $43 million deal. Among those voicing dissent are Tom Petty, Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, David Cassidy, Sony Bono’s heirs, Kenny Rogers, Kim Gordon… and the list goes on (Many are associated with Wixen Music Publishing.) Even the actor Anthony Hopkins, who has dabbled in classical music, has joined the ranks of objectors.
After attorney fees, just $28.7 million is proposed to compensate songwriters and publishers — and the objectors say that’s not nearly enough.
What do you think Spotify should do?