Sony Music, Ultra Records Sue Moody Recordings Over Allegedly Infringing Version of House Track ‘Dancin’

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Madrid, Spain. Photo Credit: Asqueladd

Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and Ultra Records are officially suing Moody Recordings for allegedly releasing an infringing version of a track entitled “Dancin” in violation of a years-long licensing agreement.

Sony Music Spain and Ultra just recently levied the complaint against Moody Recordings, which is billed on SoundCloud as a Chicago-based house label. And while this label’s website didn’t appear to be live at the time of writing, individuals named Jonas Tempel and William Renkosik (known publicly as DJ Bad Boy Bill), who are also defendants, serve as “the sole owners and members of Moody,” according to the action.

Back in June of 2014, Moody and Sony Music inked an exclusive licensing agreement that transferred the rights to the aforesaid “Dancin” (performed by Aaron Smith) to the major label for a decade, per the legal text. The pact is said to have extended to each version of the track save the “Laidback Luke Remix,” besides reaching every nation around the globe except Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

SME, pursuant to its “express right” under the Moody tie-up, then transferred to Ultra the exclusive rights to exploit “Dancin” in Canada and the United States, according to the filing parties. But the defendants are alleged to have “created an unauthorized version of” the song at the case’s center “sometime in 2019,” allegedly bringing the work to leading streaming platforms in the States and a number of other nations.

The alleged infringement and violation of the 2014 contract “was undertaken at the direction of and with the authorization of Renkosik and Tempel,” Sony Music Spain, Ultra, and their attorneys maintain, emphasizing also that the “unauthorized reproduction” has racked up north of 200 million streams on Spotify alone.

Predictably, the Big Three label and Ultra are suing for both vicarious and contributory copyright infringement, claiming that the defendants’ actions have caused them (the plaintiffs) to lose “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the mentioned Spotify streams and to suffer “irreparable harm” due to the purported popularity decline that the original “Dancin” has experienced.

However, Sony Music Spain itself is further suing Moody for breach of contract, highlighting the company’s alleged “willful and material breach” of the 2014 licensing agreement (which allegedly resulted in over $1 million in damages). Additionally, the Madrid-headquartered business is looking to extend this 2014 deal by at least four more years, or “the amount of time that Moody has been in material breach” of the terms.

Lastly, the no-holds-barred suit likewise takes aim at Moody as the alleged “alter ego” of Tempel and Renkosik, indicating that the two should consequently “be liable for the liabilities and bad acts of Moody.”

“Moody has never had, and does not now have, any genuine or separate corporate existence, and was formed to permit Tempel and Renkosik to transact business under a corporate guise and attempt to shield Tempel and Renkosik from personal financial liability from creditors,” the complaint reads towards its end, further alleging “a failure to maintain corporate formalities” including documents.

Once again at the time of writing, the defendants didn’t appear to have addressed Sony Music’s action on social media. Last month, The Weeknd settled a “Call Out My Name” infringement suit that had been filed in 2021, whereas Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were named in an infringement complaint over 2020’s “Living in a Ghost Town.”