Pandora faces copyright lawsuit for displaying song lyrics

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

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.

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p51d007

TS Evangelist
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.
 
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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
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.
My boss recently had a visit to the UK, and he never saw any ads for lawyers.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
My boss recently had a visit to the UK, and he never saw any ads for lawyers.
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.
 
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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
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.
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.
 
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