Music publishing company Wixen has sued Pandora for displaying lyrics from Wixen artists – who include Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, and Weezer. Wixen's suit claims that the internet radio service knowingly used the lyrics "without any valid license or authorization." It's the second major lawsuit that Wixen has recently filed against a streaming music company, following a now-settled $ 1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify.  As explained on its website, Pandora shows lyrics beneath some songs on both mobile and desktop. It's done so since 2009, partnering with licensing companies like LyricFind for the rights. But Wixen says those rights didn't include its clients' work. It all that Pandora knew about this, part of Wixen apparently notified the company in early 201
Wixen previously sued Spotify over the complicated issue of "mechanical licenses," based on a convoluted legal framework which has since been changed. But lyrics licensing is a separate issue. The Pandora suit claims infringement on roughly 100 songs, including Cake's "Short Skirt / Long Jacket," The Doors "" Riders on the Storm, "and Tom Petty's" It's Good to Be King "and" Mary Jane's Last Dance. " If Wixen prevails in this suit, the company could seek damages or up to $ 150,000 per song. Pandora's parent company Sirius XM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. LyricFind, which is not party to the lawsuit, also did not immediately confirm the songs' licensing status.
Lyric sites like Genius have skirmished with publishers over the past several years; Genius suggested that the reprints could be defended as fair use but ultimately struck deals with record labels. In turn, Genius recently accused Google of "stealing" its lyrics, based on a watermarking pattern that spelled out "red handed" in Morse code. It's not clear that this is actually matters legally, however, since both sites pay licensing fees and neither owns the song rights. By contrast, this allegation against Pandora – that it simply does not have a licensing deal with Wixen – is a more straightforward copyright infringement question.