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“No justification” for labels to see Spinrilla source code, says Spinrilla

By | Published on Wednesday 16 August 2017


The dispute between the major record companies and mixtape sharing app Spinrilla continues, with the former’s request for access to the latter’s source code high on the defendant’s current list of specific gripes.

As previously reported, the Recording Industry Association Of America sued Spinrilla over allegations of rampant copyright infringement back in February. The mixtape set-up then quickly hit back the following month arguing that [a] it employed the Audible Magic rights management technology on its platform that the record industry had requested it use; [b] the labels now suing it had in the past lobbied for their music to be promoted on the service; and [c] anyway, it is protected by the often controversial copyright safe harbour.

There has since been a back and forth between lawyers working for both sides in the dispute, and earlier this month they filed a joint document with the court seeking judicial opinion on a few procedural matters, including what documents each side should provide the other. Torrentfreak has now published that court submission.

One thing Spinrilla is really keen not to hand over to the RIAA is its source code which, the labels argue, would provide important evidence for their case in regards to the defendant’s knowledge of infringement on its platform, and its ability to deal with repeat copyright infringers amongst its community of mixtape uploaders.

But, says Spinrilla, it would be mad to hand over something as valuable as its source code to the record industry. It says in the new court papers: “The source code is the crown jewel of any software-based business, including Spinrilla. Even worse, plaintiffs want an ‘executable’ version of Spinrilla’s source code, which would literally enable them to replicate Spinrilla’s entire website. Any plaintiff could, in hours, delete all references to ‘Spinrilla’, add its own brand and launch Spinrilla’s exact website”.

Which, obviously, isn’t a particularly likely outcome, but it’s the principle, see. “If we sued YouTube for hosting 210 infringing videos”, Spinrilla’s submission goes on, “would I be entitled to the source code for YouTube? There is simply no justification for Spinrilla sharing its source code with plaintiffs”.

The defendant also argues that the RIAA’s request for detailed information about its users is too broad, and that it will only share data about those users directly linked to the uploading of the 210 infringing tracks that the record labels specifically name in their lawsuit.

It remains to be seen how the court now rules on these various matters.