Spotify Is In Trouble Over A Notorious B.I.G. Portrait

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Makes Announcement
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer of Spotify Ltd., speaks at a news conference in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. Spotify Ltd., the music-streaming service, will open its site to software developers to attract new users with features such as ticket sales and song lyrics. Photographer: Louis Lanzano/ Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Spotify is reportedly being sued by the Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg over the company’s apparent use of her work in its music-streaming app.

Specifically, in a complaint filed on Friday in California, Lixenberg alleged that Spotify used her photograph of The Notorious B.I.G., the late rapper more properly known as Christopher Wallace.

According to an excerpt from the filing published by The Hollywood Reporter, the photo in question served as a background image to Biggie’s artist entry on Spotify.

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Lixenberg has shot many celebrity portraits, and many of her subjects coming from the world of rap and hip-hop: Biggie, his rival Tupac Shakur, Puff Daddy, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Andre 3000, among others.

“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,” her complaint read.

Spotify had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing. Its artist entry for The Notorious B.I.G. currently has no background image.

For more on Spotify, watch our video.

The Sweden-based service is also currently facing a $350 million lawsuit over musical copyright infringement. Separate actions by Cracker frontman David Lowery and singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick were combined into one giant class-action lawsuit.

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