Spinrilla Draws Ire of Recording Industry in Copyright Lawsuit

By: Scarinci Hollenbeck

Copyright infringement in the entertainment industry has run rampant in the age of the internet, with many websites offering free full-length albums from artists.

Spinrilla Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Although music-sharing platform Spinrilla hasn’t been around as long as some of its infamous predecessors, it has recently drawn the ire of the music recording industry.

Rampant copyright infringement

Spinrilla offers users the ability to stream and/or download music from famous recording artists like Kanye West and Beyonce, but allegedly doesn’t compensate the record labels who own the rights to the sound recordings. In a case similar to Napster’s lawsuit in 2000, the Recording Industry Association of America has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a number of major industry players, including Atlantic, Warner Bros. Records, UMG and Sony Music Entertainment, according to Billboard.

Ever since Napster hit the scene, music streaming services have had a rocky history with the RIAA and its record label members in the age of free information. Platforms like LimeWire have come and gone with massive lawsuits trailing behind, and Spinrilla’s is no different. The complaint filed asserts the website has infringed 21,000 sound recordings.

“Through the Spinrilla website and apps, users with an artist account can upload content that any other user can then download or stream on demand for free, an unlimited number of times,” RIAA lawyer James Lamberth wrote in the complaint, according to Hip Hop DX. “A substantial amount of content uploaded to the Spinrilla website and apps consists of popular sound recordings whose copyrights are owned by Plaintiffs.”

The RIAA believes Spinrilla specializes in cheating labels and artists out of the compensation they would make should fans be forced to purchase the albums. This is a common argument used in the industry, and one that makes sense. On the other end of the spectrum, shepherding the public into the number of websites the RIAA pointed to that do pay artists—Spotify, Tidal and Apple, to name a few—could be creating a monopoly.

Legal battles rage on

The lawsuit was filed in Georgia federal court on February 3, so Spinrilla has not yet responded to the complaint or the allegations therein. Assuming such allegations are true, Sprinrilla would be wise to settle the matter as soon as possible, as similarly situated defendants have not fared so well in court.

Not even respected music streaming websites are in the clear from copyright lawsuits, though. In January of 2016, The Verge reported two lawsuits were filed against Spotify by the artists themselves, claiming the service distributed their songs without consent and proper compensation.

Copyright infringement has become infinitely more difficult to prevent in the digital age, where nearly every book, movie and song can be found on the internet. If you are a content owner or creator and believe that your rights are being infringed, contact one of our entertainment attorneys to discuss your options.

Do you have any questions? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Shane Birnbaum, at 201-806-3364.

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Scarinci Hollenbeck

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Scarinci Hollenbeck is a full service, general practice law firm that provides a broad range of legal services to a diverse group of clients. Our principal areas of practice include Corporate Transactions and Business Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights, Environmental and Land Use Law, Litigation, Public Law, Commercial Real Estate, Sports and Entertainment Law, Tax, Trust and Estate Law. We are also experienced in a number of specialty areas that are incorporated into these core practice areas.
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