Date
23 January 2018
Spotify has been accused of using thousands of songs without a license and compensation to the music publisher. Photo: Bloomberg
Spotify has been accused of using thousands of songs without a license and compensation to the music publisher. Photo: Bloomberg

Spotify hit with US$1.6 billion copyright lawsuit

Music streaming company Spotify was sued by Wixen Music Publishing Inc. last week for allegedly using thousands of songs, including those of Tom Petty, Neil Young and the Doors, without a license and compensation to the music publisher, Reuters reports.

Wixen, an exclusive licensee of songs such as Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty, Light My Fire by the Doors, (Girl We Got a) Good Thing by Weezer and works of singers such as Stevie Nicks, is seeking damages worth at least US$1.6 billion along with injunctive relief, the news agency said.

Spotify failed to get a direct or a compulsory license from Wixen that would allow it to reproduce and distribute the songs, Wixen said in the lawsuit, filed in a California federal court.

Wixen also alleged that Spotify outsourced its work to a third party, licensing and royalty services provider the Harry Fox Agency, which was “ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary mechanical licenses”.

In May, the Stockholm, Sweden-based company agreed to pay more than US$43 million to settle a proposed class action alleging it failed to pay royalties for some of the songs it makes available to users.

Spotify, which is planning a stock market listing this year, has grown around 20 percent in value to at least US$19 billion in the past few months.

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