Music, podcast, and video streaming service Spotify has been hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit over unlicensed use of songs from artistes like Tom Petty, Neil Young and The Doors.
The plaintiff ,Wixen Music Publishing sued Spotify last week in California federal court, claiming the music-streaming service is using its songs without the proper license or compensation to the music publisher.
According to Wixen in its lawsuit, “Prior to launch, Spotify struck deals with major record labels to obtain the necessary rights to the sound recording copyrights in the songs by offering the major labels, in many cases, equity stake in Spotify.
“But Spotify failed to properly obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions.
“As a result, Spotify has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotify is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses,” Wixen added.
The music streaming company is not new to facing lawsuits as just May last year, it agreed to pay more than $43 million to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit brought against it by songwriters who accused the company of not licensing or paying them for use of their music.
It is worth knowing that the Sweden-based music-streaming service has more than 60 million paying users and is expected to go public this year, with a valuation of about $20 billion, according to investment bank GP Bullhound, an early investor in Spotify.
Spotify is yet to comment on the latest suit.