Martin Garrix’s relationship with Spinnin’ Records, once revered as a dynamic duo within the dance music communities, is now dead.
After a long court battle, Martin Garrix has won the rights to his music that he previously signed over to Spinnin’ Records and Music All Stars management company. The decision was made early morning on Wednesday, September 20 with a Dutch judge ruling in Garrix’s favor for a destruction of the contracts.
The producer initiated the suit in the summer of 2015, alleging that Spinnin and Music All Stars acted improperly and demanding €3.7 million and €650,000 from the companies, respectively. For their part, both companies have countered the suit, alleging that Garrix’s abandonment of his contractual obligations lost them more than €6.4 million in revenue.
Garrix claims that he was “fooled” into signing away the rights to his tracks when he signed a record and management contract in 2012 and renewed it in 2013. Garrix’s lawyer, Oktay Düzgün, argued further that there was a conflict of interests because both companies are helmed by Eelko van Kooten who, his team alleges, bullied the young producer and his father by telling them this combination deal was their only option.
Judges in the Lelystad court in Netherlands have rule in Garrix’s favor by agreeing there was a conflict of interest and suggesting Van Kooten could have abated it by bringing in a third party arbiter. Instead, Garrix’s interests in signing new contracts with Spinnin’ records were represented by Music All Stars and both parties sought to nail down Van Kooten’s best interests.
Garrix was subsequently awarded a major victory, getting the rights back to the masters on huge tracks like his biggest hit, “Animals” as well as neighboring rights and the so-called “phonograms,” too.
A Spinnin’ spokesperson says they are still reading the decision carefully to understand the scope of the 56-page ruling and determine whether or not an appeal could be successful.
This news comes just weeks after Van Kooten sold Spinnin’ to Warner and exited the company. Though he no longer has any share in the companies, Van Kooten says he’s kept tabs on the action. The case “still has my interest,” he said of the decision, noting that he will study the ruling and advise the companies on whether or not an appeal should be filed.
The decision is young, but could obviously have wide reaching impact as Spinnin’ and Music All Stars have worked together for many years and the label represents some of the hugest names in music today from Tiesto to Don Diablo.
Note: Whether the judge has ruled to grant Garrix’s request for backdated earnings has not yet been reported.
[UPDATE 9/20/2017 9:44 AM EST]:
Garrix’s team has issued a statement.
“I am happy with this outcome,” said Garrix of the case ruling, via press release. “Not only for myself but also for all other DJ’s/producers out there, since this case was not only about me, but about all of us artists”