Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 15,900+ case briefs...

Greenfield v. Philles Records, Inc.

Court of Appeals of New York
780 N.E.2d 166 (2002)


The Ronnettes, a singing group formed by Ronnie Greenfield (a.k.a. Veronica Bennett), Estelle Bennett and Nedra Talley (plaintiffs), signed a contract in 1963 with Philles Records, Inc. (PRI), a recording company owned by Phil Spector (defendants). The contract gave full ownership rights to PRI of all master recordings and subject to a schedule for payment of royalties to the Ronnettes. In the paragraph granting PRI full ownership of all recordings made by the Ronnettes, the contract provided that PRI could make reproductions, including “phonograph records, tape recordings or other reproductions.” In the 1980s, PRI began licensing master recordings of the Ronnettes’ songs for use in movies and television shows and for sale in compilation albums. The Ronnettes received no royalty payments for the licensing and sales of their songs. The Ronnettes sued PRI and Spector, contending the 1963 agreement did not permit PRI’s licensing of Ronnettes songs in the 1980s and demanded royalties. The trial court awarded the Ronnettes $3 million in damages. The Appellate Division affirmed, finding that the contract, by its silence, did not grant PRI the right to license songs for movies and television or for compilation albums. PRI and Spector appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Graffeo, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 343,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,900 briefs, keyed to 216 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.