Business News CMU Digest

CMU Digest 28.08.22: Megan Thee Stallion, Eddy Grant, FN Meka, Festicket, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

By | Published on Sunday 28 August 2022

Megan Thee Stallion

The key stories from the last week in the music business…

Megan Thee Stallion ramped up her legal battle with her label 1501 Certified Entertainment. The most recent dispute between the rapper and 1501 centres on whether her 2021 release ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ – a collection of YouTube freestyles and archive tracks – should count as one of the two albums she still owes the label under her current record deal. She reckons yes, 1501 says no. In a new legal filing, the rapper argued that, following the recent release of latest album ‘Traumazine’, she should now be able to walk away from the label. She also demanded at least a million dollars in damages in relation to allegedly unpaid royalties and accused 1501 of being behind a pre-release leak of the new album. The label strongly denies the leak allegation, but the rapper is also trying to get documents from Warner Music – which distributes her records via its 300 division – reckoning that that paperwork might back up that claim. [READ MORE]

Lawyers for Eddy Grant revealed plans to subpoena Donald Trump’s former Deputy Chief Of Staff Dan Scavino in an ongoing copyright dispute. Grant sued Trump in 2020 after the former President used his 1983 song ‘Electric Avenue’ in a campaign video without permission. During the discovery phase, the Grant side has been seeking to force both Trump himself and a rep of his 2020 Presidential campaign organisation to sit for a deposition. But no one has been found to speak for the legal entity that ran the campaign, which has actually been dissolved. With that in mind, Grant’s lawyers asked for an extension to the discovery phase in order to subpoena Scavino, who was also Social Media Director for Trump’s 2020 campaign and – in that role – was involved in the official campaign tweet that contained the video that featured the unapproved use of ‘Electric Avenue’. [READ MORE]

Universal Music’s Capitol label announced it was cutting its ties with the virtual rapper FN Meka. The deal between Capitol and the company that created the digital avatar rapper – Factory New – had only been announced earlier this month, with the label releasing just one track. That deal got FN Meka – who already had a big following on TikTok – much more media attention, leading to campaign group Industry Blackout to publicly criticise the project, which – they said – was an “insult to the black community and our culture” and “an amalgamation of gross stereotypes”. A co-founder of Factory New initially defended the FN Meka venture, insisting that the virtual rapper’s music was actually created by real world black artists. But when one of those artists – rapper Kyle The Hooligan – hit out at Factory New, and claimed that the company had cut him out of the project financially, the same spokesperson distanced himself from the whole thing. [READ MORE]

Ticketing firm Festicket, which specialises in selling packages around festivals that also include travel and accommodation, filed a ‘notice of commencement of moratorium’ with Companies House. It suggests the company is facing financial challenges. The moratorium means creditors can’t file legal action against Festicket for a set time, providing the company with some breathing space while it considers how to restructure its business. A source told TheTicketingBusiness that the company’s management was in talks with a third party, presumably about buying the ticketing platform. However, they added, “unfortunately, for current clients and staff, the business may be considered beyond rescue”. [READ MORE]

Chicago-based Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab was sued following recent revelations about its mastering processes. The label, aka MoFi, specialises in selling high quality reissues to audiophile music collectors. It has always claimed that its vinyl releases are purely analogue recordings. However, it was recently revealed that the company had, since 2011, frequently used Direct Stream Digital technology during the mastering process. In the new lawsuit, one buyer of MoFi releases claims that the dishonesty about the mastering process constitutes unjust enrichment and fraud, because truly analogue records can command a higher price “not only for their superior sound quality, but also for their collectability”. The plaintiff, Adam Stiles, is seeking class action status for the lawsuit. [READ MORE]

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