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Scott Beale / AP

Wixen Music Publishing, which manages songs by Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and more, is suing Spotify for $1.6 billion for allegedly using thousands of songs without proper licensing, Variety reports. It's also seeking injunctive relief for damages.

Why it matters: Spotify has been hit with numerous complaints and lawsuits from the music industry in the past for not giving music creators a fair share of revenue, and for distributing music without proper licenses. This suit is one of the biggest, and it's happening as Spotify prepares to go public through a direct listing in the near future.

The lawsuit was filed just before the new year at a federal court in California. Wixen says Spotify didn't adequately compensate the music label or its artists and knowingly distributed its clients' music without the proper licenses. Spotify responded by filing court papers Friday that questioned whether Wixen's clients authorized the record label to include their names in a suit against Spotify without giving them enough opt-out time.

Go deeper: Copyright problems have more commonly plagued video streaming companies like YouTube. YouTube and its rival Facebook have been doubling down on music streaming deals with record labels over the past year. Still, more music is being streamed from audio services than video.

Go deeper

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders in flood-ravaged British Columbia and at least one mudslide late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed south across the border and into Canada. Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun told reporters there was "nothing to stop it," as the rising waters neared the B.C. border city.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting parts of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."