Jenner & Block

Firm Team Secures Summary Judgment for Major Record Labels in Copyright Infringement Case

On November 30, a federal judge in Atlanta granted a motion for summary judgment for firm clients Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, and Warner Records (along with various subsidiaries and affiliated companies) on liability in their copyright infringement case against Spinrilla – a hip-hop mixtape service – and its owner. The Spinrilla website has become one of the world’s most popular venues for streaming and downloading mixtapes. Many of the mixtapes at issue that Spinrilla distributed and performed contained unauthorized copies of member labels’ copyrighted sound recordings.

In a 47-page decision, US District Judge Amy Totenberg found that Spinrilla is liable for infringing 4,082 works and is not entitled to safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. With the liability issue decided, the case will proceed to a trial on damages. 

“Judge Totenberg’s ruling is a significant victory for the music industry that sends a clear and strong message in upholding the rights of artists and copyright owners in today’s digital streaming market.” said Andrew H. Bart, a lead Jenner & Block partner on the case and co-chair of the firm’s Content, Media, and Entertainment Practice.

Mr. Bart and Partner Previn Warren lead the cross-office team, with assistance from Partner Steven R. Englund. Associates Susanna D. Evarts, Sati Harutyunyan, Olivia Hoffman, Owen W. Keiter, Brittany Lamb, and Cayman C. Mitchell provided valuable assistance to the matter.