A major music publisher wants Spotify to pay more than $1.6 billion, alleging it is streaming millions of unlicensed songs in what it calls "massive, systemic copyright infringement."
Wixen Music Publishing Inc., which represents the rights of songwriters and publishers, accuses Spotify USA Inc. of prioritizing record labels at the expense of songwriters and publishers. Wixen filed the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, NBC News reported.
While Spotify has worked to track down the rights to the sound recordings of the songs it streams, it has never adequately secured the equivalent rights for the songs themselves as published works, according to the suit.
The suit includes a 265-page list of thousands of its songs that Wixen says Spotify is streaming without proper licensing and compensation, including some of the biggest hits of acts like the Beach Boys, Rage Against the Machine and the Black Keys.
A spokesman for Spotify USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Spotify AB of Sweden, told NBC News the company had no comment.