Spotify is coughing up a huge chunk of change as a class action lawsuit has resulted in the forfeiting of over $112 million to artists. Court documents claim the music streaming giant failed to pay out artists adequately for use of their material.
Last year, Spotify settled a major class action lawsuit, filed by musicians Melissa Ferrick and David Lowery, to the tune of $43.5 million. However, rightsholders argued that amount was far too low and the presiding judge decided more time would be needed to deliberate.
This time around, the payout is much more substantial. That $43.5 million is expected to be paid out immediately by Spotify, with ongoing royalties issued to the artists affected by these claims.
Spotify stands by its assertion that none of this was intentional.
U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan wrote in her opinion:
“The combination of the immediate and future monetary relief, along with the non-monetary benefits provided, constitutes a significant recovery. 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.”
This is a huge win for artists.