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

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Makes AnnouncementSpotify CEO Daniel Ek Makes Announcement
Daniel Ek, CEO of SpotifyPhotograph 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.

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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.