California
3 January 2018
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Spotify sued for $1.6 billion over copyrighted works


Spotify has been sued for $1.6 billion by Wixen Music Publishing, which claims that the music streaming service had “in many cases used [its] music without a licence and without compensation”.

Wixen represents a range of high profile artists, including Tom Petty, Neil Young and the Beach Boys.

In its complaint filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California on 29 December 2017, Wixen claimed that Spotify has “repeatedly failed to obtain necessary statutory, or ‘mechanical’ licences to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service”.

It said: “Consequently, while Spotify has become a multibillion dollar company, songwriters and their publishers, such as Wixen, have not been able to fairly and rightfully share in Spotify’s success.”

Wixen added: “Spotify brazenly disregards US copyright law and has committed wilful, ongoing copyright infringement. Wixen notified Spotify that it had neither obtained a direct or compulsory mechanical license for the use of the works. For these reasons and the foregoing, Wixen is entitled to the maximum statutory relief.”

Wixen demands damages of $150,000 for each copyrighted work infringed, for an award of at least $1.6 billion.

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