Spotify Hit with $1.6 Billion Copyright Lawsuit

Spotify Hit with $1.6 Billion Copyright Lawsuit

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek speaks during a media event in New York
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek speaks during a media event in New York, U.S., May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/

(Reuters)

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

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 $1.6 billion along with injunctive relief.

 

Headphones are seen in front of a logo of online music streaming service Spotify in this illustration picture
Headphones are seen in front of a logo of online music streaming service Spotify in this February 18, 2014 illustration picture. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

 

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”.

Spotify declined to comment.

 

In May, the Stockholm, Sweden-based company agreed to pay more than $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 $19 billion in the past few months.

 

(Reporting by Sonam Rai and Eric Auchard in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)