The Los Angeles punk rock band NOFX, formed in 1983, rose to attention with its fifth album — 1994’s “Punk in Drublic.”
The four-member group, still touring, could see its bottom line rise dramatically if a lawsuit pans out.
Wixen Music Publishing of Calabasas says at least 30 songs by NOFX — and 10,700 by other groups and individuals — were aired without compensation by Spotify, the Swedish-based music streaming service with offices in L.A. and San Francisco.
So Wixen is suing in Los Angeles federal court, asking for $1.6 billion in a copyright-infringement case first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“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 licenses,” says the suit filed Dec. 29.
Attorney Daniel J. Schacht, representing Wixen, says in the 12-page complaint that Spotify has about 30 million songs in its catalog and reportedly failed to pay songwriter royalties about 21 percent of the time.
Given that estimate, Schacht writes, Spotify infringed about 6.3 million compositions, including those of his clients (which include the late Tom Petty, David Cassidy, Neil Young and Stevie Nicks).
“Spotify brazenly disregards United States Copyright law and has committed willful, ongoing copyright infringement,” the suit says. “Spotify’s conduct has at all times been willful, intentional, purposeful, in disregard of and indifferent to the rights of Wixen and those of the artists it represents.”
Wixen attorneys — and the manager and members of NOFX — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.