Tunecore fired Jeff Price over the summer. So why are they still aiming fire at him in December? The latest attempt at erasing the past involves Price's Twitter account, @tunecorejeff, which Tunecore is now trying to eliminate or at least subsantially modify based on trademark infringement claims.
The sad part about this story is that Price has just 229 followers as of this writing; it's just not that big of an outlet for him. But according to details shared with Digital Music News by the dethroned CEO, Tunecore is now devoting considerable resources trying to squash this account (however tiny).
Twitter firmly alerted Price of the trademark problem ahead of the weekend.
"We have received a complaint from a trademark owner that your account, @TuneCoreJeff, may be in violation of Twitter's trademark policy. Using a company or business name, logo, or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others or be used for financial gain may be considered a trademark policy violation."
The compliance letter urges Price to take action within 48 hours (now lapsed), or face some level of sanctions.
"You are free to continue operating your account so long as you make it clear it is not affiliated with the brand. However, please understand that your account is subject to permanent suspension if it is found to further violate our Rules regarding trademark or fails to comply with the suggested edits. Please make the required changes within 48 hours."
Price told us he's going to send one email contesting this, based on the pettiness of the claim. The bigger question is whether Tunecore becomes permanently mired in this battle of the mega-egos, and unnecessarily distracted from pressing demands to pivot, evolve, or otherwise change this business model.
And what about the path forward? Ironically, Tunecore offered us a post-Price interview with current executives, but only if Price's name was specifically not mentioned in any questions. We naturally declined.
According to Price, the 'finish him' button is largely being pushed by investor Gill Cogan, whose enmity towards the company founder seems strong. And, the source for a lot of wasted time: "It's disturbing to see a company that had so many great things going for it spend its time and resources like this," Price told us. "As an example it appears to have paid billable hours to a law firm to deal with this issue (the law firm did threaten me directly about my Twitter handle some time ago. It was mentioned in my [earlier] Digital Music News interview). Maybe they'll come to my home to make sure I don't wear my Tunecore t-shirt or insist I can't say I founded the company.
"Frankly I don't get it. It seems they feel its more important to try to 'get' me than focus on improving and building the company."
Rational Voice Monday, December 10, 2012
In some senses it's sad Jeff cannot walk away.
G.D. Monday, December 10, 2012
So douchey. Goodbye Tunecore, hello CD Baby (or maybe somebody new?).
Walser Monday, December 10, 2012
they all have basically the same problem
problem? Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Which is what?
Jaded Industry Dude Monday, December 10, 2012
Better call TMZ
Lavid Dowery Monday, December 10, 2012
"Twitter firmly alerted Price of the copyright problem ahead of the weekend."
>Runs a music biz blog.
>Doesn't understand different between copyright and trademark.
paul Monday, December 10, 2012
gotta take it.
Visitor Monday, December 10, 2012
Just goes to show that Mr. Price don't understand the new decade.
It's all about Intellectual Property.
Dacesita Monday, December 10, 2012
don't know the exact story, but it's sad that he has been pushed out of the company he started. Like Steve Jobs.
Joda Monday, December 10, 2012
It's sad to see this once ground breaking company implode.
Jeff created it. Whether he is inside of the company or not, he should always be allowed to use the name.
What the current owners don't understand is that to the general music community - aka - their customers, the more they trash Jeff, the less anyone wants to use them. None of us care about whatever petty issues they were having internally.
As far as most of the people I know are concerned, Tunecore is dead.
Steven Cravis Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Tunecore, give Jeff a break. He founded your company. Put your financial resources, instead, toward the artist and label customers/content providers who make you what you are, by lowering the yearly renewal fees, which were NOT lowered in your recent 'drastically' reduced pricing structure.
Seriously? Tuesday, December 11, 2012
This is news? Considerable resources? You fill out a form on Twitter.com to make trademark claim. Takes about 20 secs.