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Pandora faces copyright lawsuit for displaying song lyrics

By Cal Jeffrey · 7 replies
Jun 18, 2019
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  1. Wixen Music Publishing has filed a copyright lawsuit against Pandora, not for playing songs without a license, but rather for displaying their lyrics without one. Wixen represents artist such as Tom Petty, The Doors, Weezer, and many more. It claims that the streaming radio service “knowingly used lyrics without any valid license or authorization.”

    As you may recall, Wixen filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify last year for using songs without paying royalties. Spotify subsequently settled the case for an undisclosed amount.

    Pandora displays lyrics below some songs on both its mobile and desktop players. It has been doing this under a licensing partnership with LyricFind and others for over a decade. Wixen says that the rights within Pandora’s third-party agreements do not include its artists.

    Wixen v. Pandora by Adi Robertson on Scribd

    It says that the company was aware of this fact as of last year when the music publisher notified them of it. Pandora did remove some lyrics in May 2019, but Wixen claims that its delay in doing so showed “willful and deliberate” copyright infringement.

    The publisher is asking the courts for $150,000 per song in damages — the same amount it asked for in the Spotify lawsuit. The complaint did not list the number of songs that had been infringed upon.

    Lyric site Genius, who recently accused Google of stealing lyrics, has had copyright disputes with record labels on several occasions and often argued that reprinting a song falls under fair use. However, Genius has never fought it all the way to a court decision, choosing to settle instead.

    It is unclear if Pandora’s partnerships include licensing with Wixen, but it doesn’t seem likely. "We thought we had a license" is a poor defense, so it will probably have to fork over a settlement of some kind to avoid losing in court.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 722   +559

    I wouldn't doubt if they are going to start charging extra for listening to a song with the vocals instead of just the tune. Want to be able to make out the words they are singing? Extra. Want to know the name of the song? That is extra. How about hearing the intro? Extra.
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,964   +1,229

    These "lawyers" are all alike. I like to watch the old "cowboy shoot-em-up" movies on Grit tv.
    I think I've seen every "if you or a loved one has _________(insert illness, death or injury), cause
    by a defective ___________(insert product), YOU may be entitled to substantial compensation.
    Contact the law office of _________(insert lawfirm) to speak with a lawyer.
    I am a non attorney spokesperson.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,195   +1,617

    My boss recently had a visit to the UK, and he never saw any ads for lawyers.
  5. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 893   +497

    Thankfully no. The only ads we have are like "If you took out a mortgage in the last 10 years and paid for mortgage protection insurance, you may be entitled to a refund"
    The need to sue or get legal compensation is a plague that I hope stays in the US. It's creeping in over here but none of us wants that type of society.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,195   +1,617

    It's a plague that needs to be wiped out of the US and everywhere. Most of the time people are suing out of greed and not necessity, IMO. I also don't think people realize the consequences of suing can actually impact everyone.
    p51d007 likes this.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,964   +1,229

    Wish WE didn't have them in the USA, but, since a LOT of politicians are lawyers, don't look for them to make advertising for a lawyers ILLEGAL on tv.
    stewi0001 likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +805

    Greed knows no bounds... It will be our undoing.

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