A number of the largest record labels have sued Spinrilla, a popular hip-hop mixtape website and app. Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. Records and Universal Music Group accuse Spinrilla’s operators of copyright infringement and claim damages that could reach millions of dollars.
Mixtapes have been part of the hip-hop culture for years, and one of such most popular online services today is Spinrilla. It allows users to stream and download tracks from its site or mobile app and accounts for hundreds of thousands of monthly users. The service got sued by the music labels, which claim that Spinrilla facilitates copyright infringement, allegedly offering over 21,000 tracks of music artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.
The plaintiffs estimated that the Spinrilla Android app had been downloaded and installed several million times and was among the most popular music apps offered on the Google Play store. However, Spinrilla is not just another pirate website: the service was incorporated in the US, earns money through advertising and recently partnered with AOL.
At the same time, the RIAA believes that Spinrilla has crossed a line by offering copyrighted music without permission and hopes that the record labels will be compensated through the lawsuit and that an injunction will take Spinrilla offline. The copyright holders point out that consumers have access to millions of music tracks from innovative legitimate platforms and services that pay creators, and Spinrilla’s way of business has no place in today’s music marketplace.