Although battles between artists and streaming services are nothing new, a major battle in the war was announced yesterday (February 3) as Spinrilla is being sued by the RIAA representing many of today’s top major labels.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, UMG, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation and LaFace Records are all suing Spinrilla and its founder, Jeffery Dylan Copeland, in Georgia federal court.
The case says it counts 21,000 copyright infringements from the music that Spinrilla has available on its site. It claims Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé are among those that have been featured without receiving compensation for their work.
“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,” the RIAA’s lawyer James Lamberth writes in the complaint. “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 issued its own statement on the matter as it is demanding actual or statutory damages and an injunction on the copyrighted material.
“Spinrilla specializes in ripping off music creators by offering thousands of unlicensed sound recordings for free,” the company says. “Fans today have access to millions upon millions of songs from innovative platforms and services that pay creators — this kind of illicit activity has no place in today’s music marketplace.”
The case is reminiscent of the RIAA suing Napster in 2000 with Dr. Dre and Metallica in tow. The revolutionary company was founded in 1999 by two teenagers who wanted a way to freely share music with friends. After garnering more than 20 million users within a year, Napster shut down in 2001 because of the lawsuit.
Other tales in the recent streaming wars include Taylor Swift taking her music down from Spotify and threatening to do the same for Apple Music and Jay Z’s TIDAL being sued for $5 million by an independent artist for reportedly not giving proper compensation. TIDAL had more woes over the release of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo when fans sued claiming that the company tricked them into getting a subscription by saying the project was an exclusive, but then releasing it to all streaming services later. ‘Ye has had his own strifes with streaming, saying the competition between TIDAL and Apple Music caused the rift between him and Jay that prevented a Watch the Throne 2 from ever happening.