Spotify has been hit with a huge $1.6 billion lawsuit for hosting songs it allegedly doesn’t have the full rights to. Filed by Californian company Wixen Music Publishing on December 29, the suit alleges that the streaming service has "failed to pay songwriter royalties to a publishing company approximately 21 percent of the time."
Wixen, who collects royalties on behalf of artists including Tom Petty, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and the Doors, alleges that Spotify “took a shortcut” when it cut deals with major labels to stream full back catalogues. The document also alleges that Spotify did not obtain the needed mechanical licenses “to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service.”
Sadly, this is not the first time Spotify has been called into question over copyright issues. The company paid out $43.4 million to publishers and songwriters in the U.S. last year over similar complaints of licensing misuse.
News of this particular case emerges ahead of Spotify's plans to go public and join the stock market in 2018. The company was last valued at $19 billion. You can see the complaint document here. Stay posted for further updates.
In other news, Apple is now offering discounted battery replacements for its customers.