Archive

Archive for the ‘Speaking in Public’ Category

Austin Panel on The Pledge Music Crowdfunding Debacle

May 8, 2019 Comments off

You may have read Iain Baker of Jesus Jones story of the band’s encounter with Pledge that we posted here and hear.  You’ve probably heard the news that PledgeMusic is bankrupt as reported in Hypebot:

UK based corporate advisory FRP will be nominated to administer a court directed sale of all assets, which would be used to pay artists, merchant bank Sword, Rowe & Company and other creditors.

Digital Music News reports giving a chronology of the events leading up to what seemed the inevitable fire sale result of “new boss” syndrome:

Now, a leaked e-mail has revealed how bad things truly are for Rogers’ company, and for artists who depended on the platform.

“Please, please, please buy PledgeMusic!  But, don’t worry.  You don’t have to pay back artists.”

Earlier this morning, Digital Music News received an interesting e-mail from an anonymous source.

FRP Advisory LLP, a UK business advisory firm, has been named the proposed administrator of PledgeMusic.com Limited and its subsidiaries (dubbed ‘The Group’).

With a pre-liquidation fire sale set to take place, FRP Assistant Manager Robbie Wirdnam has now sought “expressions of interest in the business and assets of the Group’ – i.e., PledgeMusic.

By way of introduction, I’m part of the corporate finance team at FRP and assisting my colleagues in the restructuring team, as the proposed administrators of PledgeMusic, in the marketing of the Group’s business and assets.  As you have previously looked at the opportunity on a solvent basis, I’m circling back to determine whether you have an interest in the business and assets for sale, ahead of an administration process.” [“Administration” in the UK is sort of like bankruptcy.“]

Wirdnam explains that the British crowdfunding platform faced two ‘pressures’ which ultimately lead to its demise – working capital pressures and a lack of ongoing funding.

This is serious stuff.  There’s potentially millions at stake and thousands of people worldwide who will be harmed, not only the artists but also fans and vendors, producers and songwriters.

UPDATE: As Jem Aswad in Variety notes in “PledgeMusic Nearing Bankruptcy, Although Sale Talks Continue“:

It should be noted that a buyer of PledgeMusic would be taking on the debts owed creditors, which include artists who launched programs with the company and owed money, which is estimated to be as much as $3 million total (here’s a small list of how much certain artists were owed, as of February). As the company has demonstrated in the past, tends to go to the most prominent, or at least the loudest, artists affected.

Hypebot also has a story on the FRP situation “Pledge enters pre-administration as buyer deliberates”:

UK based corporate advisory FRP has been named to contact potential buyers and value the company’s assets in pre-administration; while in parallel, the interested buyer finishes due diligence.

If no buyer steps forward within the week, PledgeMusic will likely enter Administration with FRP as the proposed administrator.

If you’re in Austin, Chris Castle is moderating a panel about Pledge with Jesse Moore and Peter Ruggero, two bankruptcy law experts.  The panel is co-hosted by the Austin Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law and Bankruptcy sections  and titled “The Pledge Music Crowdfunding Debacle” on May 22.  Here’s the event description:

The panel will review the reported facts on the decline of PledgeMusic.com, a crowdfunding platform directed at independent artists, established artists with significant fan bases and labels.  PledgeMusic has taken in contributions from fans but has not paid out all or a significant portion of those funds to the artists for over a year. Many Texas consumers, artists and vendors have been affected by the company’s collapse.

The panelists will analyze the effects of this collapse on artists, the rights of consumers and vendors and the potential future outcomes if the company does not solve its financial crisis and seeks protection of the insolvency and bankruptcy laws.

As far as we know, this is the only response from the legal community so far.  Chris tells us that it is directed at artists, fans and vendors as well as lawyers.  $5 covers pizza and parking.

Deets are:

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Austin Bar Association
816 Congress Avenue, Room # 700
Austin, TX 78701

 

 

Save the Date: Nov. 28 Music Modernization Act at the Dallas Bar Association

November 11, 2018 Comments off

If you’ll be in Dallas, Texas on November 28, I will be discussing the Music Modernization Act at a luncheon sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law Section.  The meeting is scheduled for noon at the Belo Mansion,
2101 Ross Avenue in Dallas.

The talk will focus mostly on the Music Licensing Collective and Digital Licensee Coordinator in Title I, but will also cover the Wyden Loophole in Title II for pre-72 recordings.

More information on the Dallas Bar Association site.

Read Highlights of Managing Change Under the Music Modernization Act’s Music Licensing Collective in the current issue of the Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Section Journal.

 

Save the Date: Music Publishing After the MMA: Valuations, Payments and Collections, Texas Entertainment Law Institute November 8-9 Austin

October 26, 2018 Comments off

I’m looking forward to linking up with my friend and veteran music publisher Richard Perna (Lone Wolf, Evergreen) to review the effect of the Music Modernization Act on publishing catalog valuations, payments and collections at the Entertainment Law Institute in Austin on November 8 & 9.  The ELI is one of the best entertainment law programs in the country, sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Entertainment and Sports Law section.

For more information and to register go here.

Save the Date! NYC Music Business & Law Conference November 16

October 24, 2018 Comments off

I’m honored to be included in a panel at the New York State Bar Association’s annual Music Business & Law Conference on November 16 with truly awesome panelists.

11:50am-12:50 pm      Music Modernization Act (US) / International Developments

The Music Modernization Act could be the most consequential copyright legislation in a generation. This panel will describe what it does, what it doesn’t do, how it affects current business and legal practices, and its effect on domestic and international copyright holders.  Bring your questions.

Panelists:
Marc Jacobson, Esq. (Moderator)
Chris Castle, Esq. – CC Legal Firm and Music Tech Solutions Blog
Charlie Sanders, Esq. – Counsel-Songwriters Guild of America
Alexander Ross, Esq. – Wiggin LLP (UK)
Christine Pepe, Esq. (IP, Music, and Digital Law Consultant)

 

Save the Date: “Music Publishing After the Music Modernization Act” at Texas Bar Entertainment Law Institute on November 9

June 15, 2018 Comments off

I’m pleased to let you know that veteran music publisher Richard Perna and I will be presenting “Music Publishing After the Music Modernization Act” on November 9 at the 29th Annual Entertainment Law Institute in Austin co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Section.  You can get more information and register at this link.

If the bill fails by November 9, we will discuss why.

If the bill has become law by November 9 we will discuss:

–the future of voluntary licensing and payment of minimum guarantees after passing;

–how will local repertoire be represented in the U.S. collective;

–practical aspects of transferring all existing NOIs to the collective;

–operational deadlines for collective;

–the reachback safe harbor and valuations;

–hidden administration costs and who bears them (unfunded mandates of the federal government);

–the practical aspects of engaging with the new “mechanical licensing collective” for U.S. and international publishers;

–what kind of publishers and valuations are likely to be most affected by the law;

–what kind of publishers and valuations are likely to be unaffected by the law;

–how songwriters and publishers will collect monies owed to them;

–ethical implications of withdrawals from the black box by the collective’s board of directors;

–ethical implications for CPAs ordered by the government to seek benefits for digital services against their client’s interest.

 

 

Please Vote for SXSW Panel Picker “Getting to Beta Without Getting Beat Up”

August 8, 2017 Comments off

We have proposed a panel for SXSW in the Panel Picker with some great speakers I’ll be moderating.  “Getting to Beta Without Getting Beat Up” will emphasize the importance of licensing strategy milestones that overlay a music-tech startup’s product development strategy milestones.

A well-executed licensing strategy is every bit as much a part of the supply chain logistics as any other element of product development, if not more important.

A buggy product can usually be fixed.  Failure to execute a bespoke licensing strategy can subject the entire company to crippling and endless copyright infringement lawsuits.  In fact, if you are unlicensed or insufficiently licensed, one thing is a pretty sure bet:  The more successful you are, the more likely it is you’ll be sued–a proposition ripped from the headlines.

That scenario can waste the stockholders’ money, be defocusing in the extreme for management and severely damage relationships with the creative community–the life blood of any music startup.

On the other hand, “over clearing” while less costly than litigation still syphons off resources that for the most part lie fallow.

Our panel are all experienced hands in the licensing and metadata world and are themselves entrepreneurs:

  • Keith Bernstein, Founder, Crunch Digital
  • Rahul Rumalla, Chief Technology Officer & Head of Product, Paperchain
  • Alan Graham, Co-Founder, Technical Architect, OCL 

Please consider voting for our panel in the SXSW Panel Picker at this link, we’d really appreciate your support!

 

 

Jan 30 Save the Date! T Bone Burnett in Conversation with Jonathan Taplin in Los Angeles on the Value of the Artist — MusicTech.Solutions

January 28, 2017 Comments off
T Bone Burnett
in conversation Jonathan Taplin on The Value of the Artist, and the Value of Art
Monday, January 30, 2017
8pm
Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre

New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Reserve seating, click here for ticketing.

This will be an inspiring evening with two of the deep thinkers in the artist rights movement!

via Jan 30 Save the Date! T Bone Burnett in Conversation with Jonathan Taplin in Los Angeles on The Value of the Artist — Music Tech Solutions

%d bloggers like this: