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If Spotify thought its previous IP problem was outsized …

We'll just tack on an ending to that partially denoted sentence in today's post headline above, to wit: " … just imagine what company executives are thinking now, in the wake of a more recent copyright-related headache."

Indeed, principals of the Swedish entity that provides a so-called "streaming" service of songs to scores of millions of users globally likely thought that a class action lawsuit brought by a group of songwriters last May could never be equaled again for inducing company pain.

That matter concluded with Spotify paying the writers $43 million to settle claims that the company had benefited from their money without obtaining a necessary license or paying royalties owed.

Spotify is now once again in hot legal water following a second lawsuit filed recently in a California federal court. This one was brought by a music publishing company that manages licensing and royalty rights for a stable of top-selling artists. Wixen Music Publishing accuses Spotify of unlawfully streaming more than 10,000 songs to users. It claims that Spotify provided the music without obtaining a necessary license and paying for the right to do so.

And … drum roll … it wants $150,000 in damages for each song.

That collectively yields a demand of a stunning $1.6 billion that Wixen says it is owed. Obviously, that amount flatly dwarfs what Spotify paid out in last May's settlement.

In fact, it could conceivably imperil the company's existence. Spotify is reportedly valued at about $19 billion presently.

It hardly seems surprising that Spotify executives did not quickly offer up any public comments in the wake of the California filing. They are likely dealing frantically behind the scenes looking for ways to defend against the suit and mitigate a worst-case scenario.

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