Spotify Facing $1.6 Billion Lawsuit Over ‘Massive, Systemic Copyright Infringement’

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in LOS ANGELES, WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING is accusing streaming service SPOTIFY USA of streaming millions of unlicensed songs in what it calls “massive, systemic copyright infringement.”

NBC reports, “the suit includes a 265-page list of thousands of its songs that WIXEN says SPOTIFY is streaming without proper licensing and compensation, including some of the biggest hits of acts like THE BEACH BOYS, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, TOM PETTY, JOURNEY, MISSY ELLIOTT, SANTANA and THE BLACK KEYS. The suit seeks damages of $150,000 apiece for more than 10,000 songs represented by WIXEN that it says are unlicensed. Overall, WIXEN alleges, more than 6 million of SPOTIFY’s songs are improperly licensed, representing about a fifth of its catalog.”

A spokesman for SPOTIFY told ALL ACCESS that the company had no comment.

NBC notes, “WIXEN’s lawsuit is the result of performers’ and publishers’ unhappiness with a separate action SPOTIFY took in MAY, when it offered to pay $43 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by a group of songwriters. That’s less than one-10th of the revenue SPOTIFY is believed to generate each month from what it says are about 60 million paying subscribers at $9.99 a month.”