Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

Young man holds a smart device while using Spotify app

The lawsuit, filed on December 29 in California federal court, alleges Spotify is using music by Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, The Doors, Steely Dan and many other artists without license or compensation.

Music-streaming service Spotify has allegedly been using thousands of songs without the proper licenses.

Wixen holds the rights to songs composed by some of the most influential and important artists of the last 40 years, including Tom Petty, Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, David Cassidy, Neil Young, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, and Stevie Nicks. The lawsuit seeks $1.6 billion in damages.

Spotify had no comment on the lawsuit for TheWrap. In addition, Spotify will also have to create some sort of method to identify and license songs properly. In 2016, Spotify also ponied up $30 million in unpaid royalties to the National Music Publishers' Association.

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Spotify is hitting back by questioning whether or not Wixen is actually authorized by those artists to take these aggressive actions.

The lawsuit comes after the Sweden-based music-streaming service agreed in May to pay more than $43 million to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit brought against it by songwriters who accused the company of not licensing or paying them for use of their music.

"Prior to launching in the United States, Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording" according to the lawsuit.

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