Spotify's $112 million class-action settlement wins approval | Tech News

A federal judge on Tuesday approved the $112 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Spotify.

Two lawsuits, brought separately by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick and later combined, accused the streaming giant of not licensing or paying them for use of their music. The Sweden-based music-streaming service reached a proposed settlement of $112.5 million, with an immediate cash payment of $43.5 million to songwriters who were members of the class.

The settlement wasn’t without its opposition, especially from Wixen Music Publishing, a song licensee whose stable of artists includes Tom Petty, Neil Young and The Doors.  Wixen called the proposed settlement “procedurally and substantively unfair to Settlement Class Members because it prevents meaningful participation by rights holders and offers them an unfair dollar amount in light of Spotify‘s ongoing, willful copyright infringement of their works” in a court filing, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the settlement approval.

Wixen also filed another lawsuit against Spotify in January that seeks $1.6 billion in damages.

US District Court Judge Alison Nathan ultimately dismissed Wixen’s objections.

“The combination of the immediate and future monetary relief, along with the non-monetary benefits provided, constitutes a significant recovery,” Nathan wrote in her opinion. “Ultimately, the court is persuaded that determining how many infringements occurred or defining the exact size of the class at this stage would undermine the benefit of the settlement in reducing litigation burden. As noted, if Plaintiffs proceeded with litigation, it is far from clear that they would have been able to establish liability or damages — or damages as significant as the recovery established in the settlement.”

Spotify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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