Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit

Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit

In its lawsuit, filed in federal court in California on December 29, Wixen Music Publishing is seeking a whopping $1.6 billion-plus dollars from Spotify.

Music-streaming service Spotify has allegedly been using thousands of songs without the proper licenses. In addition to Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Rivers Cuomo, Wixen also represents big names such as Stevie Nicks, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, and more. The lawsuit seeks $1.6 billion in damages.

While Spotify has worked to track down the rights to the sound recordings of the songs it streams, it has never adequately secured the equivalent rights for the songs themselves as published works, according to the suit.

The complaint alleges that as much as 21 percent of the 30 million songs on Spotify are not licensed for use. Consequently, while Spotify has become a multibillion dollar company, songwriters and their publishers, such as Wixen, have not been able to fairly and rightfully share in Spotify's success, as Spotify has in many cases used their music without a license and without compensation.

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I've reached out to Spotify and Wixen.

The streaming company has faced a string of lawsuits in recent months, and in May agreed to a $43 million settlement with songwriters and publishers in response to a proposed class-action suit that accused the company of failing to pay royalties.

The lawsuit claims Spotify did not get the necessary mechanical licenses "to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service".

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