In the 21st century streaming applications have become the ultimate world for the progress of the recorded music industry. Yet in these times Swedish streaming giants are at war with Music Publishing companies, in this case Wixen Music Publishing.
US-based independent publisher Wixen sued Spotify in December last year, claiming that Daniel Ek’s platform was hosting tens of thousands of Wixen-managed songs without a sufficient mechanical copyright license.
A mechanical license grants the rights to reproduce and distribute copyrighted musical compositions (songs) on different mediums including interactive streams and other digital configurations supporting various business models, including locker-based music services and bundled music offerings. If you want to record and distribute a song that you don’t own or control, or if your business requires the distribution of music that was written by others, you need to obtain a mechanical license.
A mechanical license doesn’t include the use of a song in a video. That use requires a synchronization license which you will need to obtain by contacting the publisher(s) directly.
Wixen Music Publishing
Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. was formed in 1978 as an alternative channel for publishing administration, copyright management, and royalty compliance review. Founder Randall Wixen has a degree in economics from UCLA and has taken several professional-level courses on law and business aspects of music publishing.
They represent many Artists whom have not been given a fair payout of their Royalties due to them during the course of the Digital transition in the Streaming World of Music. They represent many Artists whom have not been given a fair payout of their Royalties due to them during the course of the Digital transition in the Streaming World of Music.
Wixen Music administers about 60,000 songs, including the catalogs of many prominent artists, bands, songwriters and composers. Some of the talent they represent includes classic writers and groups such as Tom Petty, Neil Young, Styx, Journey, The Doors, Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, the Beach Boys’ Brother Publishing, Jonathan Richman, Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers, and Stephen Stills. R&B and pure Blues clients include Rick James, John Mayall, John Lee Hooker, and R.L. Burnside. More contemporary clients include the Black Keys, Fitz and The Tantrums, Weezer, Andrew Bird, and Missy Elliot.
The company has also made a push into the Americana music scene over the last few years with writers like John Prine, Marty Stuart, the Mavericks, Rhiannon Giddens, Shovels and Rope, Elizabeth Cook, Todd Snider and Parker Millsap.
What Was The Law Suit All About?
The lawsuit filed by Wixen Music Publishing last year said that Spotify was grossly and illegally underpaying the songwriters while it was paying out outrageous salaries to their executives. Wixen team felt it was time for them to step up and find a suitable place for both parties to come out of this ordeal with a win-win resolution.
Spotify is a huge part of the future of music, and we look forward to bringing more great music from our clients to the public on terms that compensate songwriters and publishers as important partners. I am truly glad that we were able to come to a resolution without litigating the matter. Spotify listened to our concerns, collaborated with us to resolve them and demonstrated throughout that Spotify is a true partner to the songwriting community. – Randall Wixen
Randal Wixen said his agenda behind the whole suit was to suport the fact that Wixen represents some of the world’s greatest talents and most treasured creators, and this settlement represents its commitment to providing first-rate service and support to songwriters while broadening its relationship with Spotify.
Spotify said at the end of the litigation process on the 20th of December:
A broader business partnership between the parties, which fairly and reasonably resolves the legal claims asserted by Wixen Music Publishing relating to past licensing of Wixen’s catalog and establishes a mutually-advantageous relationship for the future.
Spotify is in the process of implementing more songwriter friendly practises some of which are already falling into action such as launch of Spotify Publishing Analytics, the launch of the EQL Directory, and the launch of songwriter credits on its platform.Music Business Worldwide