Spotify was hit with a $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit last week for allegedly allowing the streaming of thousands of songs without a licence.

Wixen Music Publishing Inc, which holds the exclusive licence for songs from the likes of Tom Petty, the Doors, Weezer and Stevie Nicks, brought the legal action against the Swedish tech giant.

The suit filed in California claimed Spotify failed to get a direct or a compulsory license from Wixen that would allow it to reproduce and distribute the songs and that it outsourced its duties to a licensing and royalty services provider, the Harry Fox Agency, which was “ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary mechanical licenses”.

The streaming platform, which has more than 30m songs available, has more than 60m subscribers and 140m active users.

As of September 2016, it claimed to have paid $5bn of revenue to music rights holders.

Spotify declined to comment.