Royalty row: Spotify hit with class action lawsuit seeking at least $150 million in damages


Swedish music streaming giant Spotify has been slapped with a class action lawsuit by musician (and University of Georgia lecturer) David Lowery, Billboard reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday 28 December in the Central District Court of California, seeks at least $150 million in damages against the company, alleging it knowingly and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted compositions to millions of users without obtaining proper licenses.

The complaint notes that statutory penalties allow for judgments between $750-30,000 for each infringed work, and up to $150,000 per song for wilful infringement.

Lowery, founder of alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven and co-founder of Cracker, is the class suit's representative. Restitution is sought on Spotify's allegedly unlawful proceeds (including gross profits), compensatory damages to be determined at trial, associated legal costs and more.

According to Billboard's sources, Spotify has set aside up to $25 million in a reserve fund to pay royalties for 'pending and unmatched song use'.

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