Spinrilla files defence against record labels’ claims

April 2017

Recorded music

Spinrilla, the popular hip hop mixtape sharing app that was recently sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America RIAA)  has filed its response, calling for the case to be dismissed partly on safe harbour grounds, and on the basis that Spinrilla had been working with the very labels now suing to promote their artistes. 
The RIAA claimed:
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 – although the site does have DCMA takedown protocols.  A substantial amount of content uploaded to the Spinrilla website and apps consists of popular sound recordings whose copyrights are owned by plaintiffs”.

The legal response, published in full by Torrentfreak, sees Spinrilla argue that it has in the past had a good working relationship with the recorded music industry and states:
“Plaintiffs and defendants have been co-operating for years in a variety of ways to successfully prevent and remove unauthorised music from Spinrilla.com. Plaintiffs and defendants have also co-operated when plaintiffs have requested that its music be promoted and distributed by Spinrilla. This co-operation can and should continue as it benefits not only the parties to this lawsuit, but more importantly, it benefits independent artists and their millions of fans”.


The new filing adds: 
“In the event plaintiffs no longer wish to partner with Spinrilla and instead prosecute infringement claims against defendants, defendants are shielded from liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. By enacting the DMCA, Congress recognised that valuable services such as Spinrilla would not exist if they were liable for content uploaded to their servers. For that reason, Congress wisely chose to protect services such as Spinrilla – protection Spinrilla has earned and deserves”.


Whether Spinrtilla does enough to fall within DMCA safe harbour protection may well fall under the spotlight:  the takedown procedure outlined on Spinrilla’s website is based on rights owners emailing in take down notices although the company says it also uses Audible Magic’s content identification system to help rights owners police their content on its platform. 

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