Music-streaming service Spotify has allegedly been using thousands of songs without the proper licenses.
The federal lawsuit says almost 11,000 songs are affected, and each issue involves a penalty of $150,000, putting the total to at least $1.6 billion, according to a December 29 filing.
The suit goes on to accuse Spotify of outsourcing licensing-obtaining responsibilities to a third party, the Harry Fox Agency, which was "ill-equipped to obtain all of the necessary mechanical licenses".
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Wixen also alleges Spotify has "knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly" reproduced those songs over the Internet to California residents.
A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit. Wixen's lawsuit paints the problem as systematic, claiming that as much as 21 percent of the music streaming on Spotify is unlicensed. All of this comes after a recent suit to the tune of $43 million filed by songwriters David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick, who allege that the company has not paid them royalties due.
"As a direct and proximate result of Spotify's willful and infringing conduct, Wixen is entitled to actual damages, including the substantial profits of Spotify", the suit reads.
"Prior to launching in the United States, Spotify attempted to license sound recordings by working with record labels but, in a race to be first to market, made insufficient efforts to collect the required musical composition information and, in turn, failed in many cases to license the compositions embodied within each recording" according to the lawsuit.