Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit over copyright infringement
That's Dr. Evil money right there.
Streaming giant Spotify has been hit with a massive copyright lawsuit on behalf of Wixen Music Publishing, to the tune of at least $1.6 billion.
Wixen, which counts music from the likes of Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac under its umbrella, filed the lawsuit in a California federal court on Friday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The mammoth lawsuit notes that Spotify is "the world's most dominant" music streaming service and alleges that tens of thousands of songs are currently hosted without a licence and compensation.
"Wixen is an independent music publisher and exclusive licensee of the Works, all of which have been registered or are pending registration with the United States Copyright Office," begins the official complaint.
"Spotify is the world's most dominant music streaming and limited downloading service. As Spotify has publicly admitted, and as recent lawsuits and settlements confirm, Spotify has repeatedly failed to obtain necessary statutory or 'mechanical' licenses to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service.
"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, as Spotify has in many cases used their music with a license and without compensation."
Wixen suggests that as much as 21 per cent of the 30 million songs on Spotify aren't licensed.
As noted above, Spotify has endured significant high-profile lawsuits in the past.
Last May, the Sweden-based company arrived at a proposed $43 million settlement with songwriters led by David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick, although that settlement has yet to be approved by a judge.
That legal battle focused on mechanical licences for song compositions, while two more lawsuits surfaced in July, arguing that Spotify hadn't fully complied with obligations under Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act.