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WIXEN HITS AT SPOTIFY MOVE IN LAWSUIT
1/9/18

Wixen Music Publishing founder Randall Wixen has railed against a request from attorneys for Spotify to limit communications with Wixen clients who have opted out of the publisher’s lawsuit against the streaming company.

“This is clearly an attempt to prevent our clients from getting our frank input and having questions answered without the threat of Spotify reviewing and having input into those discussions,” Wixen said in asking the U.S. District Court judge to reject Spotify’s request.

Wixen filed a $1.6b lawsuit against Spotify last week representing copyrights of Tom Petty, Neil Young, The Doors and others after opting out of a class action lawsuit that Melissa Ferrick filed and was settled for $43.4m.

Last week, Spotify asked Judge Alison Nathan in the Ferrick vs. Spotify lawsuit to "preclude Wixen Music (and/or its counsel) from ex parte communications with recipients of the supplemental notice regarding the supplemental notice. To the extent that recipients have questions about the supplemental notice or the extended opt-out process, they may communicate those questions to [Settlement Administrator] GCG, which will inform the parties and counsel for Wixen Music of those questions.  Wixen Music (and/or its counsel) and the parties shall also be required to forward any questions submitted directly to any of them by recipients of the supplemental notice to GCG.  Wixen Music and the parties will be required to meet and confer regarding the questions and prepare an agreed-upon response to be transmitted by GCG. If Wixen Music and the parties cannot agree upon a response within two business days, they will provide a joint status report to the Court for prompt resolution."

Wixen says the request will confuse clients and make it difficult to opt out of the suit. The publisher says Spotify counsel has proposed “further road-blocks for opting out of the Ferrick suit including forbidding our clients' managers, business managers, spouses, agents, and attorneys from confirming that Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. and Donahue Fitzgerald LLP in fact represent them.”

“Without any doubt, the intention is to disenfranchise our clients' legal rights and subvert their intentions," Wixen said. "We remain optimistic that we can continue a meaningful dialog with Spotify, and are hopeful that we can put these matters behind us with a fair resolution that works for all parties."

A Spotify rep declined to comment on this development.