LOS ANGELES — Wixen Music Publishing Inc. recently filed a lawsuit against Spotify, alleging copyright infringement on thousands of songs by major artists such as Stevie Nicks, Weezer and Tom Petty.
Additionally, Wixen seeks an injunction to stop Spotify from making the songs available to its users.
Spotify, the music-streaming service, has faced many lawsuits alleging that it “failed to obtain necessary statutory, or 'mechanical,' licenses to reproduce and/or distribute musical compositions on its service,” according to the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.
A class action, Ferrick et al. v. Spotify USA Inc. et al., that is in settlement negotiations “does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents,” according to the complaint, and Wixen is opting out of that proposed settlement.
The complaint alleges that each song on Spotify is a separate copyright infringement, noting, “Each of the Works is an original work fixed in a tangible medium of expression, and constitutes separate, distinct copyrightable subject matter within the meaning of Section 102 of the Copyright Act. Among other things, each stream of the Works reproduced by Spotify and/or distributed to end-users constitutes a separate and distinct act of infringement, for which Spotify is a direct infringer.”
Wixen seeks more than $1 billion in damages.
“[P]ursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c), Wixen is entitled to receive the maximum amount of statutory damages for willful copyright infringement, $150,000 per composition, for each of the approximately 10,784 musical compositions identified in Exhibit A hereto, for a total statutory award of at least $1.6 billion," the complaint states.
Wixen in the complaint describes itself as "an independent music publisher that was formed in 1978 by Randall Wixen. Wixen administers more than 50,000 songs written and/or owned by its more than 2,000 clients, including songs by some of the most popular and acclaimed musical artists of the last 100 years.”
Spotify was launched in 2011 and has more than 60 million subscribers.
Spotify has corporate offices in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. Wixen is located in Calabasas, California.
The complaint was filed by attorney Daniel J. Schacht of Donahue Fitzgerald LLP.