Garrix publicly parted ways with both Spinnin’ and the affiliated Music All-Stars Management back in August, making an announcement at the time that cited the old music industry trope of “a difference of opinion.” Garrix did however hint at contract issues, stating that he “tried to get back the ownership rights of my music from Spinnin Records.”
The ongoing saga seemed to reach a conclusion of sorts in early December, as Martin announced that Spinnin’ had transferred ownership rights of his music back to him, and he was dropping his own legal case against the label. It seems he spoke too soon, however, as the complexities of such a legal undertaking have once again reared their ugly head.
Now Spinnin’ is saying that Garrix breeched his original contract, which included clauses saying the label would own the rights to his music until 2017. The statement, printed in full below, explains the difficulties both parties had in negotiating new terms, but mentions that an agreement has been reached to “exploit” his releases until “at least 2023,” adding a full six-years onto his original contract terms.
Spinnin’ hints that the financial terms are yet to be resolved, hence the ongoing legal action, explaining that they “want to be compensated – nothing more, nothing less.”
However, the statement is unusually worded–the source of the full text is Dancing Astronaut, who explains that they “made minor corrections to the grammar” in order to make it readable, but offers no further links–but it still leaves questions unanswered. Despite the 2023 assertion, the full statement then goes on to explain that in the original contract “Spinnin’ Records would exclusively release and exploit all tracks of Martijn Garritsen until that date (2017).” However, the next paragraph begins with the assertion “As this is not happening anymore, Spinnin’ Records as well as MAS will lose lawful income. ”
So has a deal been reached until 2023 or not? And what exactly does this mean? Perhaps Spinnin’ has only retained rights for Garrix’ existing releases, but not any future ones–the statement does not distinguish between the two, and appears to directly contradict itself. If a deal has been reached, why is Spinnin’ still pursuing legal action?
The full statement, as edited by Dancing Astronaut, can be read in full below:
Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars Management (“MAS”) regularly receive inquiries on the dispute with Martin Garrix.
On the 26th August 2015 Martijn Garritsen posted a message on Facebook, announcing he was unilaterally terminating his contracts with Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars Management (MAS). With this, he made it clear for everyone he would no longer keep himself to his contracts with us and unilaterally ended our collaboration which was still to continue until July 1st 2017.
From early 2015 we have freely spoken with Martijn Garritsen about his wish to re-negotiate the existing contracts and in our vision, improper arguments were used to put pressure on the discussions. It was even mentioned ‘fraud’ had been used by us to move Martijn Garritsen to close contracts with us in 2012. Of course we completely disagree; Martijn Garritsen, his father Gerard Garritsen, a very experienced business man, and their team have always let themselves be advised, have widely researched the market and shopped around for deals and always had time and room for negotiation to come to well considered decisions. Moreover all agreements have been negotiated in detail and were also signed by father Gerard Garritsen.
The years of cooperation have always went well and brought success to all parties until the end.
Even though we were not obligated to do so, we negotiated and came close to new contracts with Martijn Garritsen, but we could not meet each other on new terms in the end- which can happen between two professional parties. We do not blame Martijn Garritsen, but this does not mean that he could unilaterally end or nullify all existing contracts, as he did with his post on Facebook. Contracts are contracts and need to be respected.
As everyone knows, Martijn Garritsen’s career has lived through fantastic developments since 2012, when our agreements commenced. Martin Garrix has grown to become one of the most important DJs in the world, even before he turned twenty years old. These years have been intense for us, no efforts and no expenses were spared, and have led to a great amount of wonderful releases. The whole team of Spinnin’ Records and MAS have worked with their heart and soul for Martijn Garritsen.
Parties have agreed now that the releases will be exploited by Spinnin’ Record at least until 2023.
Remains to be settled between the parties is the financial compensation for the collaboration which was unilaterally terminated by Martijn Garritsen. This is what Martijn Garritsen meant in a recent press release, saying “the remaining differences of opinion between parties will most probably be subject of further legal proceedings”. MAS would take care of management until at least 1 July 2017. And Spinnin’ Records would exclusively release and exploit all tracks of Martijn Garritsen until that date.
As this is not happening anymore, Spinnin’ Records as well as MAS will lose lawful income. No hard feelings, but we do want to be compensated – nothing more, nothing less.
That is part of a decent and professional settlement of what was a successful relationship.