5:05pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Spinrilla Lawsuit Sparks Bizarre Music Expert Fight
Spinrilla wants the phone records of an expert it almost hired to defend its litigation against several major record labels — and the expert says it's because the streaming company believes its adversaries had "gotten to" him.
William Rosenblatt, a consultant who serves as an expert witness in matters involving digital media and copyright, says Spinrilla's attorney David Lilenfeld called him in August to discuss his serving as an expert.
The Recording Industry Association of America in February sued the hip-hop streaming company and its founder Jeffery Dylan Copeland on behalf of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation and LaFace Records. The RIAA claims the site is offering music from artists including Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Beyonce without paying for it.
Rosenblatt was on a family vacation when Lilenfeld called and, when he returned to the office, found two other dormant cases had become active and he was too busy to take the gig.
In a Wednesday filing, Rosenblatt's attorney James T. Hunt Jr. says Lilenfeld repeatedly asked his client if he'd spoken with any of the labels or their attorneys, and the consultant repeatedly assured him he hadn't.
"This matter is the very epitome of litigation paranoia," writes Hunt. "Lilenfeld apparently believed that his adversaries ... had contacted Rosenblatt in the intervening time since they initially spoke and dissuaded him from being retained by Lilenfeld for the Atlantic Recording Litigation."
Earlier this month, Lilenfeld filed a subpoena seeking Rosenblatt's deposition, and his personal and private communications, including phone records, cellphone bills, text messages and emails sent or received by Rosenblatt, from Aug. 23-31.
"The requests in the Subpoena clearly have absolutely nothing to do with the underlying Atlantic Recording Litigation and were served by Lilenfeld to harass, annoy and embarrass Mr. Rosenblatt in a misguided and Quixotic crusade based only on a fiction drummed up by Lilenfeld’s paranoid fears," writes Hunt.
Rosenblatt is "seriously concerned" Lilenfeld would use his phone records to call or text clients, associates and family members — and Hunt says his client has no information that's relevant to the underlying case.
"Rosenblatt — who is not a witness to the Atlantic Recording Litigation — should not be subjected to Lilenfeld’s intrusion into his business and personal affairs, which have no bearing on the claims and defenses asserted in Atlantic Recording Litigation," states the filing.
Hunt is asking the court to quash the subpoena and impose sanctions against Spinrilla and Lilenfeld.
The RIAA declined to commented on the situation. Lilenfeld did not immediately reply to a request for comment.