Spotify will have to fork out more than $112 million after a U.S. federal judge approved the settlement of a years-long class action against the streaming giant.
The action, launched separately three years ago by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick and later combined, alleged that the market-leading streamer unlawfully reproduced and distributed works without permission.
A settlement was agreed last year, to which several parties objected, including Wixen Publishing Group, which represents Stevie Nicks, the late Tom Petty, and Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, which argued it was “procedurally and substantively unfair,” and others deemed it “grossly insufficient.” More lawsuits followed, including one from Wixen claiming $1.6 billion in damages from Spotify, filed around the time the company announced plans to go public (that case is said to be ongoing).
On Tuesday, however, U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan overruled Wixen’s objections and approved the settlement of $112.5 million, including an immediate cash payment of $43.5 million to songwriters who were members of the class.
“The combination of the immediate and future monetary relief, along with the non-monetary benefits provided, constitutes a significant recovery,” wrote Judge Nathan in an opinion.