Martin Garrix Speak on Retaining Ownership of his music & exploitation

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Martin Garrix a/k/a Martijn Garritsen retains all rights to his entire music catalog.

Signed with MAS and Spinnin’ Records as a minor, releasing “BFAM” with his long-time friend Julian Jordan when they were only 15. One could argue, it’s easy for a young impressionable mind to be swayed by this rock star life a blur of “booze, bribes and broads.” Thus, after years of relentless releases and touring under MAS and Spinnin’ Records, Martijn began to see the bigger picture. Attempting to redefine the music industry’s exploitative nature is nothing new. Martin Garrix certainly is not the first artist to highlight the struggles of artists to regain the rights to their work. Think: George Michael, Taylor Swift and Prince to name a few. The music industry is built on this model of unconscionable and unlawful business tactics of the major record labels.

Julian Jordan & Martin Garrix – BFAM

It’s evident from the above BFAM Music Video, at 15 years of age. Martijn Garritsen was very much a child. A starstruck, dazzled child, but a minor nonetheless whose rights should have been safeguarded. A realization Garrix made after relentless touring and releases, prompting him to start his own label, STMPD Records in 2016.

Citing (Berg v Traylor), a 2007 Appelate Court Case in California. Disaffirmance is the process of canceling a contract by reason of “infancy” (ie. the child was too young to be legally bound to a contract). When a minor disaffirms, it is as if the contract never existed—it is erased.

Since neither Julian and Martin were allowed to even stay after their performance since they were minors, are they entitled the same protection as the California’s Child Actor’s Bill? Should there be a universal Regulation of Minors’ Entertainment Contract in the music industry too?

Most importantly, should Martijn Garritsen try to resolve this matter via arbitration through the ICC and can we apply the Laws Protecting Child Performers such as California’s Coogan Law as predecence? The Coogan law makes a clear difference between agents and managers. Agents are regulated by the Talent Agency Act. Their activities are limited to avoid conflicts of interest.

Lollapaooza Berlin 2019: Martin Garrix, photo by Stephan Flad

Martin Garrix’ Camp issues formal statement in response to recent court developments…

After several media publications and requests for a response regards Mr. van Kooten’s statement this week, Martin Garrix and his management has issued the following statement:

Firstly, it is important to understand that Martijn Garritsen started these proceedings against MusicAllStars Management (MAS) and Spinnin’ Records because in 2015 his co-management Scooter Braun Projects and his counsels did not succeed in coming to agreement about the return and future ownership of Martijn’s master-rights and his current management contract.

Martijn thus no longer had faith in a collaboration with MAS, because of Mr Van Kooten’s conflicts of interest. Mr. Van Kooten refused any reasonable cooperation which forced Martijn to unilaterally cancel the agreements with MAS and Spinnin’ and, if that did not work, to terminate them as of July 30, 2015. For that termination, Martijn’s lawyers put forward various grounds. The Court of Lelystad recognized error as the first ground for cancellation of the agreements and on that basis, the contracts were terminated. Furthermore, the Court ruled that Martijn is the phonogram producer and therefore all rights to his tracks belong to him and not to Spinnin’ Records.

The result of accepting error as grounds for termination was that Spinnin’ and MAS had to financially compensate Martijn. MAS and Spinnin’ appealed and the Court of Appeals confirmed the judgment that Martijn is the phonogram producer and all rights to his tracks belongs to him. Instead of error, the court of appeal ruled on other grounds that Martijn had put forward, that Martijn was entitled to terminate his contracts per 30 July 2015 and that they did not continue until 30 July 2017 as MAS and Spinnin’ claimed.

With the Court of Appeal’s decision, Martijn received what he wanted in the first place: to be recognized as master owner/ phonogram producer and a confirmation that he did not have to serve out his contracts until 30 July 2017. The first is particularly important to him because he hopes that other young artists will realize what their (music) rights are. Already four years ago, Martijn stated that the protection of fellow musicians was an important reason for him to take up this fight, and in that sense, Martijn is pleased with the outcome.

The Court of Appeals has ruled that MAS will be compensated for some outstanding items for their work from January 2015 to July 30, 2015 (which is not special) and that Spinnin’ Records will not receive any compensation.

MAS and Spinnin’ did thus not gain anything with these cases except that they have incurred enormous costs for themselves and Martijn. If they had agreed back in 2015 with the reasonable requests of Martijn, this could all have been prevented.

We trust to have answered all questions and wish everyone a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2020. ~ Management Martin Garrix

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