It has emerged that music streaming platform Spotify is being sued by Wixen Music Publishing Inc for indexing thousands of songs, including those of The Doors, Tom Petty and Neil Young - as well as the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Sonic Youth, and The Black Keys - without the correct licensing agreement.
Wixen filed the lawsuit on December 29 and is seeking at least $1.6 billion, in addition to injunctive relief.
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 is seeking damages of $150,000 per song, the maximum award possible under the U.S. Copyright Act. Spotify now has over 60 million paying users and is expected to go public this year. Spotify declined to comment on the story.
According to the documents filed by Wixen, Spotify has approximately 30 million songs in its catalogue, and they allege that the company has infringed almost 6,300,000 of them, or around 21 per cent of its roster. "Wixen notified Spotify that it had neither obtained a direct or compulsory mechanical license for the use of the Works". They claim that the company doesn't have the right license or compensation to Wixen to stream the songs.
As of July 2017, Spotify reported over 60 million subscribers worldwide for its service, which is available in 61 countries.
The company was founded in 2006 and has pioneered legal streaming, which has become the music industry's biggest source of growth despite early scepticism. It is reportedly valued at $19bn, and is expected to be floated on the stock market later this year.