Streaming giant Spotify is no stranger to court battles regarding usage rights. But while the company’s previous battles have mostly come up against music artists and record labels, Spotify has now found itself the target of a photographer who has filed a suit against the company for copyright infringement over the use of some of her photographs, namely one of the Notorious B.I.G.
Dana Lixenberg, a Dutch photographer, has claimed that Spotify has taken her images and used them to adorn artists pages on their platforms without her consent, and without fairly compensating her for the right to do so. “Not content to solely rip off the musicians on whose backs Spotify has built an 8 billion dollar company,” states a recently filed complaint filed complaint in a California Federal courtroom, “Spotify has expanded its efforts to also include ripping off photographers.”
As mentioned, the heart of the case stems from Spotify’s use of an image of the Notorious B.I.G. that was taken by Lixenberg and was supplied to the streaming company by a secondhand party, All Media Network, who has been identified as a codefendant in the case. “A comparison of the Subject Photograph with the Accused Image reveals that the elements, composition, colors, arrangement, subject, lighting, angle, and overall appearance of the images are identical or at least substantially similar,” the filing argued.
Below you can see a comparative side-by-side shot as inserted into the filing.
Lixenberg is seeking a share of profits, statutory damages, costs and attorneys’ fees in this case. Neither Spotify nor Lixenberg immediately returned Complex’s requests for comment.