Music Industry News Network [01-13-2018]
Spotify Makes Motion To Restrict Communication Between Wixen Music Publishing, Inc., Its Clients, And Their Attorneys
On Friday January 5, 2018, attorneys for Spotify made a chilling request of Judge Alison Nathan in the Ferrick vs. Spotify lawsuit intended to limit WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. clients who opted out of that suit from having free and unrestricted communications with Wixen and Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, the attorneys representing them in the Ferrick vs. Spotify and Wixen vs. Spotify lawsuits.
WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. founder Randall Wixen responded by saying "This request is totally outrageous. Our clients look to ourselves and their attorneys as trusted advisors. To prevent us and their attorneys from having unmonitored discussions with our clients without Spotify and Court supervision prevents any discourse that would normally be privileged communications. 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. We are hopeful that Judge Nathan will reject this request outright."
The actual wording of the proposal regarding the extended opt-out proposal being proposed is as follows:
"....the Court should 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 continues: "The request also includes other requirements that would likely confuse our clients and make it very difficult to remove themselves from the Ferrick suit, even though they have made it abundantly clear they want to do so. Our clients already believe we are representing them, and they are likely to ignore a second opt-out notice in the belief that we are already handling everything for them. As if this weren't enough, Spotify and Ferrick class counsel propose to set up 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, having such confirmations go through a third party claims administrator who doesn't possess accurate information on how to contact our clients, and enforcing a slim 30-day period for 538 such affirmations of representations to be obtained. Without any doubt, the intention is to disenfranchise our clients' legal rights and subvert their intentions."
WIXEN has had hundreds of affirmative communications from its clients cheering the actions taken by Wixen on their behalf, and has had major songwriters who are not Wixen clients, a major management company, and three major law firms, asking if they can take part in Wixen's Ferrick suit opt-outs and if they can join Wixen vs. Spotify suit at this time. According to Randall Wixen, "We have heard from hundreds of Wixen clients, and many people we don't represent, cheering us on."
Randall Wixen concludes: "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."
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