Scammers in the music industry

Meet some famous and well-respected companies and brands and more or less anonymous individuals associated with them who you should avoid to work with

Or at least, keep your eyes wide open if doing any business with these guys
INTRODUCTION:
Vevo used to be an on demand advertising supported video streaming service, owned and financed by a few major labels including Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Blue2Digital used to be one of the most popular independent services distributing videos to Vevo and YouTube, all until Vevo, without any prior notice, warning or explanation, decided to take down thousands of videos licensed to our clients. Our clients contacted Vevo's technical support to be provided with more information, but their only reply was, like, "kindly ask your distributor, we have no idea what's going on". However, when the "distributor" (i.e. us) contacted the officials (directors and managers), they didn't reply to emails or phone calls having been instructed not to respond to any requests coming from our side regarding this matter.
In the meantime, we have heard unofficial and never confirmed rumors. Some of them (if not all of them) are falling into a "believe-it-or-not" category:
  • "UMG is having a hard time making payments to its vendors and that they are attacking smaller companies such as Blue2Digital"
  • "After a lot of investigation they have discovered that there was a technical error with the embedded software which counts streams"
  • "Vevo saw a huge drop off in views of the above videos when they switched their tracking software from superbeacon to comScore"
  • "Some traffic was coming from an embeddable Facebook player, which Vevo has not to date been able to find or recreate"
etc. Anyway, other than taking the videos up and down a few times causing a lot of confusion to everybody, Vevo denied to pay the royalties and left an enormous debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars unpaid to our company and its clients, while they have never come out with an official explanation on this matter and never offered any compensation. Every effort we made to reach an agreement and settle the matter was arrogantly ignored.
The very most of our clients (artists) whose videos were taken down from VEVO were registered in the United States.
It took us quite a long time to investigate the issue and find out what actually happened. According to what we have found out, things are far from being simple.
The U.S. Authorities certainly have all the information on this case. On August 30, 2017 and November 15, 2017, the companies we find responsible and the scammers hired to "give emphasis" to the whole story were reported to the IC3 via WWW.IC3.GOV.
On December 15, 2017, Erik Huggers, Vevo's President and CEO since 2015, had decided to step down to "pursue new opportunities". On May 24, 2018, Vevo.com's video service was officially shut down.
Due to its intricacy and complexity, we will try to present the case as concisely as possible.
INTRODUCING THE KEY PLAYERS:
Vevo used to be an on demand advertising supported video streaming service, owned and financed by a few major labels, formally managed by Vevo LLC headquartered in Delaware and New York (USA). After some significant changes had been made to Vevo's owned and operated platforms, Vevo shut down its video-hosting service
Merlin B.V. is the "global digital rights agency for the world's independent label sector" formally headquartered in the Netherlands (Europe), but actually run in the United Kingdom. It is said to be "100% transparent with their members regarding deal terms" in a way that it is "helping to ensure that independent music is appropriately represented and valued in the digital market".
INTRODUCING THE VICTIMS:
VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. is a software development company headquartered in Serbia (Europe). During the period 2012-2015, VIDYPS 79 operated as a music distribution company, in the present case responsible for audio and video digital distribution by working as an intermediatory between the music digital stores and music streaming services and the clients, artists and labels.
INTRODUCING THE ISSUE:
VIDYPS 79 had a Membership Agreement with Merlin comprising a music digital distribution deal to multiple music digital stores and streaming services (Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Vevo etc.). The deal between VIDYPS 79 and Merlin B.V. was on a non-exclusive basis. Technically, Merlin B.V. had nothing to do with music or video distribution itself, but the digital stores and streaming services (including Vevo) required that all the royalties for the audio/video views and streams and digital sales must have gone through Merlin.
In 2012, VIDYPS 79 launched Blue2Digital, a highly successful digital music distributon service which lasted all until May 2015, when the aforementioned Vevo, with the help of Merlin (they confiscated all the money VIDYPS 79 had with them) and a couple of scammers listed below, aborted any further payments to VIDYPS 79 and its clients. Vevo has left an enormous debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars unpaid to our company and its clients, while they have never come out with an official explanation on this matter and never offered any compensation. Every effort we made to reach an agreement and settle the matter was arrogantly ignored.
On August 30, 2017 and November 15, 2017, the aforementioned companies and the scammers were reported to the IC3 via WWW.IC3.GOV.
Shortly after, on December 15, 2017, Vevo's board of directors announced a "leadership transition at the world's leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform". Erik Huggers, Vevo's President and CEO since 2015, had decided to step down to "pursue new opportunities".
Expectedly, on May 24, 2018, Vevo announced "changes to its owned and operated platforms" and since that date, Vevo.com no longer existed as an on demand video streaming service.
INTRODUCING THE SCAMMERS:
John Guerrier De'Bey a.k.a. Sean Larvonde Thurman a.k.a. Sean L. Thurman a.k.a. Sean Thurman a.k.a. Sean Guerrier De'Bey a.k.a. John De'Bey (74 W 92nd St, 17D, New York, New York 10025, United States), his wife Sylfronia King a.k.a. Sylfronia King-De'Bey a.k.a. Sylfronia De'Bey a.k.a. Rebecca White and his mother-in-law, Dorothea Oliver-King are directly suspected of numerous misrepresentations, fraudulent actions and submission of forged, falsified and altered documents, including but not limited to official corporate, federal, state and court documents, documents issued by the Internal Revenue Service, the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada and NY County Clerk, alleged court decisions, falsified stock purchase agreement, fabricated invoices for alleged license fees, tax payments and accounting fees, as well as various fictitious services by fictitious attorneys. Read more...
Pranab Jyoti Hazarika a.k.a. Axl Hazarika (VILL/TOWN KAINADHARA PS BASISTHA, SUB DIVN GUWAHATI, OPP. KHANAPARA OVER BRIDGE, GUWAHATI 781022, ASSAM, INDIA) is directly suspected of fabricating tens of millions of video views on Vevo and YouTube between May 2014 – July 2015. However, Vevo never reported any suspicious activities or imposed any sanctions on Axl Hazarika during that period. Read more...
MarvMent LLC (C/O UNITED STATES CORPORATION AGENTS, INC., 7014 13TH AVENUE, SUITE 202, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11228) is directly suspected of an illegal usage of International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC) assigned by IFPI to VIDYPS 79, abuse and misapplication of Blue2Digital’s collection of independent works and data, copyright infringement arised out of unauthorized publishing around 1,000 music videos to Vevo originally distributed by Blue2Digital, violation of the regular ownership transfer procedure and conflict of interest. Read more...
More names are yet to come...
IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Our intention is not to discredit any of the aforementioned companies or individuals. Our only intention is to reveal the truth and hopefully, prevent other people from being deceived and mislead. Other than that, all the aforementioned companies and individuals have always been eager to be recognized as highly significant and successful in the world of music business, and yet they have rather remained anonymous. Ironically, this way they are given a chance to present themselves out to the public, but - unfortunately for them - this is a presentation about who they actually are.
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