Spotify Sued Over Notorious B.I.G. Image on Streaming Service

Spotify's Daniel Ek - H 2014
Dorothy Hong

Spotify's Daniel Ek - H 2014

A Dutch photographer who has shot portraits of many prominent musicians from Prince to Tupac Shakur has raised an issue over the way that Spotify adorns its artist pages with images.

"Not content to solely rip off the musicians on whose backs Spotify has built an 8 billion dollar company, Spotify has expanded its efforts to also include ripping off photographers," states a complaint filed on Friday in California federal court by Dana Lixenberg, whose work was profiled last year by Time magazine.

Lixenberg says that Spotify has committed copyright infringement by using her photograph of the late hip-hop star Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace. According to the complaint, the image was supplied by All Media Network, which is named as a co-defendant in this action.

"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," she adds.

Represented by attorney Scott Burroughs, Lixenberg is demanding profits, statutory damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

We've reached out to Spotify for comment.

Here's a look from the court filing: