was an on-demand advertising supported video streaming service
, owned and financed by a few major labels, formally managed by Vevo LLC. Vevo consisted of two major parts:
In 2012 our company VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. launched Blue2Digital as a highly successful digital music distribution service.
- Vevo.com, representing an on-demand video streaming website
- Vevo-On-YouTube, representing the branded Vevo pages on YouTube; artists had an option to promote their videos on Vevo.com, Vevo-on-YouTube, or both
We had a Membership Agreement with Merlin B.V.
that stood for a "global digital rights agency for the world's independent label sector"
. The Agreement comprised several music distribution deals to multiple digital music platforms, including Vevo
INTRODUCING THE ISSUE:
MarvMent LLC (C/O UNITED STATES CORPORATION AGENTS, INC., 7014 13TH AVENUE, SUITE 202, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11228) is suspected of an illegal use 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 use of around 1,000 music videos originally distributed by Blue2Digital to Vevo, violation of the regular ownership transfer procedure and conflict of interest.
On November 15, 2017 the case was submitted to the IC3 via WWW.IC3.GOV.
Shortly after the submission of our report, 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"
, 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"
which resulted in Vevo shutting down
its video-hosting service.
>> Prepared & written by Vladimir Milicev, CEO of VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. and Blue2Digital
IN THE COURSE OF EVENTS:
- In October 2015 MarvMent LLC, incorrectly presented as an "independent distribution company", by engaging a registered nurse as a contact person and being actively supported by Mills Antonio Wade, an engineer at Vevo, came into possession of nearly 1,000 music videos originally distributed by Blue2Digital; it was done without the consent of either VIDYPS 79 (the company that launched Blue2Digital) or its clients
- Both John Guerrier De'Bey a.k.a. Sean Thurman, a fake entrepreneur from New York City (for more details on him, please check HERE) and Vevo itself (by playing a significant part in violating the regular ownership transfer procedure) deserve credit for lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding this illegal action
- It all started in July 2015, when John Guerrier De'Bey fabricated a music distribution agreement between the fictitious "V-ERA Soft LLC" (a company that he falsely founded on my behalf), "Universal Music Group" and himself, offering this forged document as an alternative to the Membership Agreement my company VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. had with Merlin B.V.
- On July 22, 2015 VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. initiated a payment of $17,950 based on the Agreement with "Universal Music Group Distribution" ("UMGD"); John De'Bey said that he had also invested into this agreement and that he had transferred "funds from his offshore account to his U.S. account to pay back American Express for those fees"
- De'Bey asked me to select some videos that I would like to introduce to "Universal Music Group", which I did; I sent him a list of around 1,000 videos that I found they would best present my company's catalog, forming a collection of data
- In the beginning of October 2015 De'Bey informed me that 1,000 videos would be taken over by "Universal Music Group" according to the previosuly affirmed plan; shortly after the takeover, the videos were reinstated on Vevo.com and YouTube, but there was no information on whose behalf the videos were reinstated of; the digital video files and International Standard Recording Codes once assigned to VIDYPS 79 had remained the same, but the statistics and views on the videos were completely and illegally removed, without any apparent reason or explanation
- It made the videos look like they were published for the first time; consequently, it caused the musicians to losing all the money that they had previously invested into their promotion
- Our clients were furious and they had every right to be, yet it still caught me by surprise to receive an automated notification provided by YouTube on raising around 1,000 ownership conflicts between VIDYPS 79 and a rather obscure company called "MarvMent, LLC"; the conflicts were addressed to all the videos we had recently submitted to "Universal Music Group" and even to some other, off-the-list videos originally distributed by our service; it was a shock, but also the turning point on that December 2, 2015
- Someone obviously had "forgotten" to turn this notification off, because I was not supposed to call their bluff
* As notified by YouTube, [Merlin]VIDYPS79 was conflicting ownership with Marvment in 249 territories
- De'Bey, however, explained that MarvMent was "owned by Universal Music Group" and "he was there when MarvMent was acquired by UMG"; he even suggested that "we remove VIDYPS as the owner of the content because of our new agreement, and the fact that we authorized the transfer. Now it will be MarvMent (UMG) o.b.o V ERA SOFT."
- In the meantime, De'Bey falsified the Vevo royalty reports in order to present them as allegedly made for "MarvMent/UMG"
- In January 2016 a client of mine came across MarvMent by chance; there was a woman (or a guy) with the name of "Takeema Gumbs" who told him that his channel was already in MarvMent's system; allegedly, "it was submitted to MarvMent by Blue2Digital", and therefore Blue2Digital should "relinquish all control over the channel" and send an email to notify MarvMent on "verifying the transfer of the channel management" ?!
- It took us quite a long time to investigate the issue; according to what we have found out, things are far from being simple - please read THIS ARTICLE for more details; in short - the Agreement with "Universal Music Group" appeared to be fraudulent, while John Guerrier De'Bey a.k.a. Sean Thurman was suspected of numerous misrepresentations, fraudulent actions and submission of forged, falsified and altered documents
- I was determined to settle the matter and I contacted Vevo back again in September 2016; the Head of Business Affairs at Vevo redirected me to Vevo's outside legal Counsel
- Absurdly, the Counsel turned out to have asked for help from no other person but John Guerrier De'Bey, which assured me that Vevo, MarvMent and De'Bey had a deal; the Counsel's whole defense was based upon the information and emails he got right from John De'Bey
- The counsel forwarded me the entire correspondence among De'Bey, MarvMent and Vevo regarding moving my company's videos over to MarvMent, which I knew nothing about
- Having gone through the documents, I realized that De'Bey, MarvMent and Vevo had deliberately avoided the ownership transfer procedure and tried to keep their correspondence away from the public eye
- "Universal Music Group" was never mentioned by anybody and the intention from the very beginning was to carry the videos over to MarvMent without informing me about it - we recommend that our clients should read the letter we wrote for them regarding this matter
- These emails reveal that De'Bey "represented" my company (without my consent), Vevo was represented by the Director of Content Operations at Vevo and three other persons, including the Vice President & Business Affairs Manager at Vevo; finally, MarvMent was represented by Takeema Gumbs, a registered nurse working in one of the New York's hospitals
- It is very unusual to see a nurse distributing music videos; it could have been Takeema Gumbs who wrote those emails but it also could have been someone else abusing her name
- Vevo took the videos down after I had reached out to them, but they refused to compensate or cooperate in any other way; Vevo is not protected from copyright infringement liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" because no act of video publishing can be performed without being approved as such on Vevo's end and engagement of Vevo's software and staff; Vevo cannot pretend to be just a video network having no idea about the content being uploaded to its servers
(it's such a reckless behavior and poor experience that, eventually, made us launch our own digital watermarking service to help people protect their copyrights)
- A few weeks after I had contacted Vevo addressing this issue, the aforementioned Director of Content Operations left Vevo
- Meanwhile we found out that MarvMent was greatly supported by a guy named Mills (Antonio) Wade from Brooklyn, NY, a system engineer at Vevo who was promoting MarvMent at the same time, more or less anonymously, finding himself in a conflict of interest
- When I approached the Head of Business Affairs at Vevo and the Counsel again in May 2017 and even created videos presenting these new details, they never replied; however, one of the guys from the Business Affairs involved with this affair left Vevo shortly after my video presentation
- MarvMent is managed (if not fully owned) by John Guerrier De'Bey and Mills Wade and hence misrepresented as an "independent video distribution company"; the involvement of a registered nurse, Takeema Gumbs, is also highly questionable
a) Takeema Gumbs, Registered Nurse: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (917)-858-7151, www.marvment.com
b) Mills (Antonio) Wade, System Engineer at Vevo: email@example.com, mills.wade@Vevo.com