Spotify and its Licensing Woes

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Contributed by: Joshua Kwan

Earlier this year, Spotify was sued for copyright infringement by Wixen for the failure to obtain the relevant music licences for their digital music service.

Essentially, music providers like Spotify are required to get licences from the relevant parties before being allowed to use their music. This may include a reproduction licence (as the right of reproduction is one of the exclusive rights under the bundle of rights known as copyright).

Another interesting point is the role of Wixen in all of this. Ordinarily, the need for licences would require Spotify to approach all the relevant stakeholders and to request for permission to use their songs and this could potentially mean an incredibly large number of people. To streamline this process, music publishers like Wixen and other collecting societies/collective management organisations settle the licensing issues involved on behalf of a large number of artists so that the process is less cumbersome for those seeking to exploit copyright in music.

For those more interested to read about this, you can take a look at the following Straits Times article:



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