Thousands Of Spotify Account Passwords Leaked

The music streaming service Spotify has been sued for more than one billion dollars over claims that it infringed the copyright of songwriters and publishers.

The California company Wixen Music Publishing is seeking damages of at least $1.6bn (£1.18bn) claiming it used the tracks without a licence, allowing it to reproduce and distribute the songs, Reuters reported.

It also says the streaming service outsourced work to a third party, the Harry Fox Agency, which was unable to get the required licences.

Wixen has on its books artists such as Tom Petty, the Black Keys, Neil Young and the Doors.

Spotify is in the midst of trying to settle a class action lawsuit by songwriters with a payment of $43m.

But Wixen is among publishers who say that is not enough, and would only amount to around $4 for each of the 10,000 songs in dispute. Instead, it is seeking $150,000 for each of the songs.

In its new lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, Wixen said Spotify did not address the claims of songwriters and publishers, which have separate rights to the songs.

"As a result Spotify has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotify is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licences," it said.

Spotify has been beset with controversy over payments to songwriters. In 2016, it paid out $30m to the National Music Publishers Association and also faces legal actions filed by Bob Gaudio and Bluewater Music Corporation in July, the BBC reported.

Spotify, based in Sweden, has not commented. It was planning a stock market listing this year and is now said to be valued at at least $19bn.