Spotify slapped with copyright lawsuit claiming $1.6 billion in damages

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).

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • that seems unlikely. just because spotify streamed songs they didnt have rights too, doesnt mean everyone else did. pandora also has a much, much, much smaller "premium" install base that can pick and choose exactly which song to play, as that service is only a few months old and is confined to just android/ios. this means theres a much lower risk that individuals were sitting there playing "the doors" on repeat.
  • Madness. It's about time to get rid of guilds and monopoly privileges.
  • Then it's time to stop companies from selling songs they didn't create.
  • Not sure how that follows. Or do you mean "create or buy"?
  • No one knows what he is talking about.
  • IP protection is monopoly protection is what he is talking about
  • Tough business. MS got out for a good reason.
  • This. It is amazing how people like to complain about Microsoft being spread too thin, make claims like "Microsoft should have put all their people on X instead of Y", give their expert opinion on how to better manage Microsoft's finances - and then go on and on about how it is the end of Microsoft because they shut down the Groove music service. Nobody in the streaming business is making money; it is believed Apple is not because they group Apple Music with other services (something that when Microsoft does it, they are ripped apart for and claimed that MS is hiding something, but ignored when Apple does it). We know that the other big players, Spotify, Pandora, etc. are losing a fortune. But still, when MS cuts a service that was losing money, it is the beginning of the end.
  • And then Groove comes back from the dead 😂🤣
  • Lol this would be hilarious
  • Still searching for a way to convert my Spotify songs to MP3 so I can transfer them to my FitBit Ionic ;-)
  • Lol. Good luck, unless you litteraly output the audio into a digital audio recording device, then use a program to edit each track... There's Software that can handle all of this from your PC.
  • If the third-party was responsible for obtaining those rights, shouldn't that third-party be sued instead of Spotify itself? That seems odd.
  • While the third-pary is responsible, so is Spotify to ensure that what they do is legit. If I were to be walking down the street and someone says "Psst, hey buddy, wanna buy some streaming licenses" and then open a business with those licenses it does not mean I am doing it legally. Now Spotify could sue that 3rd party licensor for breach of contract, but Spotify is still streaming without the proper license.
  • You would hiink this would be the way courts handle it, but from similar situations that isn't the case. Ridiculous, eh?
  • seeking damages of $150,000 per song
    How can they justify this other than "this is what we want because we want it"?