A federal judge in Georgia ordered the hip-hop mixtape site Spinrilla and its founder Jeffery Copeland to pay Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Music and others $50 million for copyright infringement related to the streaming and downloading of thousands of songs by Bob Marley, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and more, according to a settlement agreement filed Wednesday.
As part of the agreement, Copeland is also permanently forbidden from operating Spinrilla or any other website, platform or similar projects anywhere in the world.
The settlement this week stems from a six-year-old lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of UMG, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation and LaFace Records, alleging that Spinrilla and Copeland allowed users to stream and download unlicensed content.
Copeland founded Spinrilla in early 2013 as an app for approved users to listen to and discover “independent and emerging hip-hop artists.” When the music industry filed its lawsuit, Spinrilla had 19 million users, including 14,000 who could upload content to the platform, and around 1.4 million songs available on the platform.
Over the course of the case, the RIAA said it identified more than 4,000 songs by Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Kanye West and others that were infringed, and in late 2020, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg found Spinrilla liable for copyright infringement.
UMG, WMG, Sony Music Entertainment and Spinrilla did not respond to requests for comment.
As part of the agreement, Spinrilla will transfer the domain name for its service to the music industry companies, which they have agreed not to use.