According to Reuters, Wixen, a major music publisher, alleges that Spotify has streamed thousands of songs without securing the proper streaming rights. Wixen holds the licenses for songs from Tom Petty, The Doors, The Beach Boys, and others.
In its complaint, Wixen claims that Spotify failed to secure a "direct or compulsory license" that would let it stream songs in Wixen's catalog. Instead, Spotify relied on a third party to secure rights, which Wixen says was "ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary mechanical licenses." According to The Guardian, Wixen is seeking damages of $150,000 per song for more than 10,000 songs.
This isn't the first time Spotify has come under fire over streaming rights. A previous row involved Spotify proposing a $43 million settlement last May to put a class-action suit to rest. At the time, a collection of artists slammed the deal as "unfair," characterizing it as giving Spotify a "practical free pass on willful infringement."
The timing of the lawsuit could prove difficult for Spotify. According to a report from Axios, Spotify recently filed documents with the SEC for an initial public offering (IPO).