Digital streaming giant Spotify has some uber serious explaining to do. New reports claim the music haven has received a $1.6 billion lawsuit over unpaid royalties.
A top music publishing organization has gone directly at Spotify’s pockets in the name of high-profile entertainers like Missy Elliott and The Doors.
Wixen Music Publishing accused Spotify of using artists’ music “without a license and without compensation,” according to documents filed in a California court on Friday. Wixen handles copyright management and royalty compliance for artists including Tom Petty, The Doors, Neil Young and Missy Elliot.
Petty’s “Free Falling,” Rage Against the Machine’s “Calm Like A Bomb” and more than 10,000 other songs are listed in the lawsuit. Wixen is seeking damages of $150,000 per song, the maximum award possible under the U.S. Copyright Act. (CNN Money)
Last year, Spotify had to shell out a grip over a couple multi-million dollar lawsuits.
This is just the latest legal action facing Spotify, which declined to comment on the lawsuit. Earlier this year, Spotify settled a class-action lawsuit for $43.4 million and a separate lawsuit with the National Music Publishers Association for $30 million. Those cases also charged Spotify with playing music without proper licensing and compensation. Spotify has maintained it wants to properly compensate for the music it streams, but has not always been able to find the data to identify rights holders. (The Star)
Spotify is known for having well over 50 million subscribers and worth well into the billions.
The company is the most successful in the music streaming business, with over 60m paying subscribers. It is reportedly valued at $19bn, and is expected to be floated on the stock market later this year. (The Guardian)