Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing.
The company administers the song compositions by Tom Petty, Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, David Cassidy, Neil Young, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Stevie Nicks, and many others.
The suit was filed on December 29, with Wixen Music Publishing claiming that the streaming service used Petty’s “Free Fallin,” the Doors’ “Light My Fire,” and thousands of other songs without a license and compensation.
Last week (December 29), Thom Yorke once again shared his concerns about the way Spotify pays musicians.
In 2013, Yorke and Nigel Godrich removed Radiohead‘s music from Spotify, with Yorke describing the platform as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”.
Since then, Radiohead’s music has gradually made its way back to the streaming service. Earlier this month, it was finally joined by Yorke’s two solo records (2006’s ‘The Eraser’ and 2014’s ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’), along with Atoms For Peace‘s 2013 album ‘AMOK’.
However, Yorke still appears to be troubled by the streaming platform’s remuneration structure. Last Wednesday (December 27), he posted a tweet drawing his followers’ attention to a thread about Spotify by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow.
Back in 2013, Yorke said: “I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing. I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen. But it’s all about how we change the way we listen to music, it’s all about what happens next in terms of technology, in terms of how people talk to each other about music, and a lot of it could be really fucking bad. I don’t subscribe to the whole thing that a lot of people do within the music industry that’s ‘well this is all we’ve got left. we’ll just have to do this.’ I just don’t agree.”