UK MUSIC INDUSTRY UNITES TO SUPPORT THOSE IMPACTED BY THE COLLAPSE OF PLEDGEMUSIC

[Editor Charlie sez:  Nice to see industry organizations that claim to be interested in artist rights actually doing something to help.]

UK Music industry organisations including , , , and launch impact survey to aid support of artists and businesses impacted by ‘s collapse.

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@Lefebvre_Sam: Record Scratch: Upstart Oakland Vinyl Manufacturer Going Out of Business

Eagerly-anticipated West Oakland record manufacturer Second Line Vinyl is at risk of losing all of its equipment to a creditor less than two years after announcing ambitious goals to build a venue and recording studio alongside the city’s first vinyl pressing plant since the 1930s, KQED has learned.

Second Line Vinyl founder and chief executive Zane Howard confirmed that he’s struggled to attract enough investment to bring the facility into action. “We’re having to wind down,” he said. “I would say the business is in jeopardy just as it was ready to begin pressing.”

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Must Read by @lizpelly and @zachariahkaylar: Oh Spotify Up Yours! A conversation with @lianaisferal

[Editor Charlie sez: The popular rage against Spotify is setting in.]

ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, The Baffler’s ongoing event series for the generally disaffected and pissed off, The Bad Society, continues with a concert at Murmrr Ballroom in Brooklyn featuring music from Xenia Rubinos, Public Practice, and Blood Club—along with a panel on the shitscape of the music streaming economy led by Liz Pelly and featuring David Turner and Xenia Rubinos. (You can still snag a ticket here.)

In advance of the concert, Liz Pelly and Liana Hell Lean of Blood Club and the hardcore outfit Decisions dropped by our gleefully dyspeptic radio program The Bad Society to talk with host Zach Webb about the unrepentant joy of scorning Spotify, punk rock’s obsession with Instagram, and working toward a better DIY scene on the archipelago of overpriced trash islands known as New York. While this interview has been drastically edited for length and clarity, you can listen to the whole broadcast—featuring an eclectic caboodle of tunes selected by Hell Lean from the likes of the queen of Cambodian rock, Ross Sereysothea, to the thundering punk rock of Eteraz—here.

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@DarrenLoucaides: HOW THE EU’S FAR RIGHT WILL BOOST GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AND AMAZON

[Editor Charlie sez:  Spoiler alert!  The answer is “Yes”!]

With right-wing populists expected to make big gains overall in the European elections, further legislation to rein in Silicon Valley could struggle to pass. In recent months, EU leaders have discussed imposing new digital taxes on the revenues of Big Tech companies; those efforts might not find support among Europe’s new parliamentarians. And the EU’s incipient antitrust crackdown against Big Tech—which now involves probes of Amazon and Google—could face stumbling blocks. Could Big Tech find itself depending on the votes of far-right, populist politicians to defend its corner?

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@AIM_UK Guidance on PledgeMusic Situation

[Editor Charlie sez:  The fantastic Association of Independent Music in the UK has issued guidance for artists and labels caught up in the PledgeMusic debacle.  We are big AIM fans and appreciate their efforts.  Note that the UK Music trade association has taken the lead on briefing Members of Parliament on the PledgeMusic situation and has written a comprehensive guidance for artists and labels from a UK perspective.]

PLEDGEMUSIC STATEMENT – AIM GUIDANCE

[May 22, 2019]

As has been reported widely in the music news, PledgeMusic hasn’t been able to make payments for some time now and is now reportedly in the process of going into administration or will be wound up as insolvent.

At The Great Escape Festival last week, AIM’s Head of Legal and Business Affairs, Gee Davy attended a lunch hosted by UK Music for Board members alongside Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West, who is a huge supporter of music and the industry and later was with the Rt Hon Lord Bassam, the Opposition Chief Whip, at Marika Hackman’s show at the Fender stage. Both were informed of the situation around PledgeMusic and the likely impact on musicians and music SMEs and they considered it to be a serious matter and suggested they would raise the matter within Parliament. Since then UK Music has also publicly called on the government to investigate the collapse of PledgeMusic and that they be referred to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

This is a terrible situation for all involved and AIM is very worried about the far reaching potential financial and reputational impact on the independent music community.  We hope this guidance will be of help. If you would like to speak to one of the AIM team after reading the attachment, please don’t hesitate to call the AIM office on: +44 (0) 20 3771 0400 where we will try to help you further.

@davidclowery: Pledge Music Fiasco is Weirder than You Think: Part I

[Editor Charlie sez:  What do the Panama Papers and Pledge Music have in common?  More than you might think….]

It seems to be a distraction, unintentional, but still a distraction from the fact Pledge Music’s  purportedmajority shareholder Joshua Sason, is the guy named first in the SEC complaint below.

(The other defendants Sharma and Salviola have an interesting history See here, here,  hereand  here. Also named is the fabulously named Zirk de Maison. He is also an interesting person: see here.)

Now this complaint doesn’t directly have anything to do with Pledge Music, but it is certainly part of the story.  The majority shareholder of a company running out of money gets an SEC complaint for what appears to be a fraud perpetrated by his other company? C’mon!  Anyone associated with Pledge pretending like it’s not part of the story? Well, that makes it part of the story.

If you read the complaint it alleges pretty crazy stuff. From the SEC press release that goes with the complaint:

“According to the SEC’s complaint, from approximately December 2012 to June 2013, microcap stock financier Magna Group, which was founded and owned by Joshua Sason, engaged in a scheme to acquire fake convertible promissory notes supposedly issued by penny stock issuer Lustros Inc. and then to convert those notes into shares of Lustros common stock. The defendants then sold the shares to unsuspecting retail investors, who did not know that the shares were fraudulently acquired and were being sold illegally. The defendants’ sales of the Lustros shares also had the effect of destroying the value of the Lustros shares held by the public.”

So this guy didn’t get charged because he forgot to file a form, or checked the wrong box. According to the SEC he is charged with violations usually associated with con men.  And according to the SEC he didn’t do it just once:

“The complaint also alleges that in November 2013, Magna Equities II, which was also wholly-owned by Sason, and Manuel, purchased another fake promissory note from Pallas Holdings. Magna Equities II and the note’s issuer, NewLead Holdings, Ltd., later agreed to retire the fake debt in exchange for shares of the issuer through a court-approved settlement agreement. To obtain approval of the settlement, Sason and Magna Equities II falsely swore to the court that the fake promissory note was a bona fide debt of NewLead. Kautilya “Tony” Sharma and Perian Salviola, who controlled Pallas Holdings, are alleged to also have participated in the scheme.”

It was shortly after this Sason reportedly invested 3 million in Pledge Music.

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@crispinhunt: A Semi-Famous Musician Runs For Office in Brussels (Guest Column)

[Editor Charlie sez:  We should all be so lucky that Crispin Hunt should be seated as a Member of the European Parliament!]

Brexit leers menacingly across Europe, pregnant with risk. Populists are peddling their nostalgic fairytale about making Britain great again. The country is a global laughing stock. Is it time for Brit-pop to take on British populism?

I decided the answer was yes — so I’m taking a break from songwriting and trying my hand at wrong-righting. I’ve decided to run for European Parliament.

Read the post on Billboard