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Music streaming has bred multiple, ongoing licensing, royalty issues

Royalties come quickly to the fore when it comes to arrangements made concerning the licensing and distribution of copyrighted musical works.

As well they should. It is the spark and creative genius of gifted artists that brings desired musical scores and performances to life. Legions of those authors of creations deemed important in the public sphere are reasonably disinclined to persevere in their medium when deprived of rightful earnings. Moreover, their ire is readily understandable when third parties unethically and unlawfully profit from their toil and creativity.

Those concerns have loomed especially large in recent years with the advent of so-called “streaming” services that enable direct consumer downloads of music via specialized online platforms. Questions and challenges have arisen concerning the proper acknowledgment of license holders and artists who are due use royalties that haven’t always materialized.

To its seeming credit, the huge streaming entity Spotify has noted past problems and inconsistencies linked with fair accounting and the payment of royalties in streaming scenarios. Many of those were front and center in a massive copyright infringement lawsuit filed by music publisher Wixen against Spotify in 2017. The plaintiffs in that litigation demanded a stunning $1.6 billion from Spotify for its alleged use of songs absent royalties owed for the privilege.

That litigation has subsequently settled, with a firm nod to business realities that now spotlight what is apparently an amicable business partnership between Wixen and Spotify. In other words, the former litigants have patched up their differences and now stress their “mutually-advantageous relationship.”

Clearly, companies like Spotify can still make massive amounts of money even after adhering to a transparent and fully accountable royalty payment scheme. The end to the Spotify/Wixen litigation firmly evidences that.

Artists and music license holders with royalty-linked concerns can turn to a proven entertainment law firm that diligently represents intellectual property creators and contractual partners in their fight for business transparency and fair profits.

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