Spotify is being sued for copyright infringement. California-based Wixen Music Publishing has filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit claiming that the music streaming company is featuring thousands of the music publisher’s songs without a licese or paying compensation to them.
Wixen itself is an independent publisher that holds licenses of songs by “some of the most popular and acclaimed music artists of the last 100 years.” It’s an exclusive licesee of songs like Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’ “, The Doors’ “Light My Fire” and Weezer’s “(Girl We Got a) Good Thing”.
In their docs filed last week in a California federal court, the company alleges that upon its launch stateside, Spotify “faced a choice to either obtain all the required rights to the songs and significantly delay its US launch, or move forward without proper licenses and face the legal ramifications later.”
Spotify, according to Wixen, clearly chose the latter option so they could win the “race to be the first to market.” The decision resulted in Spotify becoming a billion dollar business “on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotidy is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses.”
Spotify has declined to comment on the lawsuit. The music platform, which is planning a stock market listing this year, is no stranger to facing lawsuits and criticism over allegations they’re not paying artists whose works are streamed on the service.
Back in May, the Stockholm, Sweden-based company had to shell out more than $43 million after they were said to have failed to pay royalties to some of the songs they made available for their users. Previously in late 2014, they were famously engaged in a feud with Taylor Swift who pulled all of her music from the streaming service as she claimed that artists weren’t fairly compensated.