sony Music and Ultra Records have filed a lawsuit against an independent dance label called Moody Recordings over an alleged unauthorized version of a 2014 track, called Dancing.
The suit, for alleged copyright infringement, breach of a license agreement and alter ego, also names Jonas Tempel and William Renkosik (AKA DJ Bad Boy Bill) as defendants. He was dropped off in Colorado on Monday, April 10.
According to the lawsuit, on June 9, 2014, Sony Music Spain and Moody entered into a written exclusive license agreement, which granted Sony exclusive rights and to the track Dancing.
The trial you can read in full herestates that Sony Music Spain “has been assigned and received all exclusive rights to the licensed product worldwide (excluding Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg)”.
Sony says it then granted Ultra exclusive rights to the track in the United States and Canada.
(Remember, Ultra Records is now fully owned by Sony Music, after Sony acquired, in 2012, 50% of Patrick Moxey’s Ultra Records LLC, after which he continued to run the label as president and co-owner. At the end of 2021, Moxey entered into an agreement with Sony Music to acquire the remaining 50% from Ultra Records. Separately, in November, Ultra Records, now owned by Sony continued Moxey’s 18-year independent publishing company on Moxey’s continued use of the “Ultra” name for his independent publishing company, Ultra International Music Publishing, LLC, which was first incorporated in the United States in August 2004.)
Sony’s new lawsuit against Moody Recordings claims that ‘sometime in 2019’ the defendants ‘created an unauthorized version of the track’ Dancing and made the alleged “Counterfeit Product” available through various digital music streaming, distribution and download platforms.
The lawsuit notes that the unauthorized version has been streamed more than 207 million times on Spotifywhile the version that Sony Music and Ultra say they have the rights to has been streamed over 711 million times on Spotify alone.
Sony doesn’t actually name the artist performing the song in the lawsuit, but on Spotify we can see that one track, listed as Dancin (feat Luvli) – Krono Remix by Aaron Smith currently has 720 million streams.
The track, according to the information listed under the track on Spotify, is licensed exclusively to Sony Music Entertainment Espana/Ultra Records from Moody Recordings USA.
Another version of the track is listed on Spotify as Dancin – Krono Remix. This version has now been released more than 215 million times on Spotify, and according to the information under the track, the copyright belongs to Moody Recordings.
THE Dancin (feat Luvli) – Mix Original was released on Spotify in 2013 by Moody Recordings and has itself been streamed 1.5 million times.
In the copyright infringement claim section in the lawsuit, Sony argues that “the infringing product was an unauthorized derivative and unauthorized reproduction of the track”.
It adds, “Upon information and belief, as the beneficial owner, i.e., one who has waived exclusive ‘rights of use’ in exchange for a percentage of sales or royalties from the Exploitation of Copyright ” Moody no longer has any “independent right to use or license the use of the Copyright” in or on the Track anywhere in the world (except Belgium , the Netherlands and Luxembourg).
The lawsuit further alleges, under Count II, alleging a contributory offence, that “defendants knowingly induced, participated in, aided and abetted and profited from the unlawful reproduction, distribution, public performance and other exploitations counterfeit product”.
Under Count IV alleging breach of contract, it is alleged that Sony Spain “has suffered damages in an amount currently unknown, which will be determined at trial, but is said to be in excess of one million dollars”,
The lawsuit adds: “In addition to the foregoing, Moody’s willful and material breaches of the exclusive license agreement deprived Sony Spain of its primary market advantage, namely that it would be the exclusive licensee of the licensed product. for ten (10) years, which would allow him to benefit from the long-term success and promotional activities of the Track.
“Because of Moody’s distribution and making available of a competing version of the track, i.e., the infringing product, the plaintiffs-authorized track must compete with the infringing product for the number of streams .”
As part of the Alter Ego claim, Sony notes that Tempel and Renkosik formed Moody in July 2013 and argues that Tempel and Renkosik should “be declared Moody’s alter ego, and as such Tempel and Renkosik should be liable for Moody’s wrongdoings as set forth in Counts I-IV, jointly and severally”.The music industry around the world