NEW YORK: Music streaming leader Spotify has agreed to set up a $43.45 million fund to settle a potentially costly pair of US copyright lawsuits from artists, lawyers said Monday.
The move marks the latest effort by the Swedish company to turn the page on messy disputes as it considers a public listing amid the soaring growth of streaming.
The settlement would end lawsuits spearheaded by two indie songwriters who double as academics—folk rock singer Melissa Ferrick and David Lowery, frontman of alternative rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.
The two had pursued class-action cases—meaning a mass of musicians could claim payouts —with Ferrick seeking $200 million and Lowery asking for $150 million.
The artists had accused Spotify, which boasts of offering instant access to 30 million songs, of recklessly putting music online without securing mechanical rights—the permission to reproduce copyrighted material—from the tracks’ composers.
Spotify and other streaming services pay royalties both to performers and songwriters—who are often lesser known and, for older and more obscure songs, more difficult to identify.