TuneCore Is Now Considering Legal Action Against Jeff Price…

But this isn’t just a battle between Jeff Price and his former company anymore.  It’s also a war that involves co-founders Peter Wells and Gary Burke, not to mention a group of unhappy shareholders.  In fact, one of those shareholders has now shared internal documents with Digital Music News pointing to a pending legal attack against Price & Co.

In a February 5th memo stamped ‘Confidential’ from the TuneCore Board of Directors to shareholders, the company strongly suggested that legal action against the original co-founders was forthcoming.  The stated reason is that Price, along with Wells and Burke, have apparently been hatching a TuneCore competitive service, with Burke accused of conspiring while still employed at TuneCore.

Whether this competitive plot violates other agreements was not specified.  “It has come to the attention of the Board that Mr. Jeff Price, Mr. Peter Wells, and Mr. Gary Burke have been working together to launch a new company that may be competitive with TuneCore while Mr. Burke was still employed at and paid by TuneCore.  These actions are in breach of various legal agreements, and are in direct conflict with outcries from Mr. Price and Mr. Wells that they have the TuneCore’s best interests in mind.

“The Board is considering legal action at this moment.”

The warning shot is part of a broader set of vitriolic volleys.  In an exclusive interview with Digital Music News last October, Price claimed that his firing was ‘without cause’ and part of a ‘grudge’ from TuneCore investor and Board member Gill Cogan.  Indeed, shortly after his firing, TuneCore attempted to arrange interviews and coverage with Digital Music News, but only on the condition that Price’s name be kept completely out of the coverage (of course, we refused).

Then there’s the rumored pissing match over a $500 expense report submitted by Price.  That amount is actually $522, according to the stakeholder, and TuneCore is flatly refusing reimbursement.  “TuneCore, for reasons unknown, will not stop trying to persecute Jeff Price,” the stakeholder shared.  “This is obviously personal for TuneCore.”

“They have sent threatening letters about his Twitter handle and denied over and over again a $522.00 expense report.  This probably cost them thousands of dollars in legal fees.  It is laughable.”

Separately, the Board also noted that outside investment bankers have now been hired to investigate financing or ‘strategic relationship’ possibilities.  Which could be a play to finally flip this thing, warts and all.  “During 2012, the Board introduced to management and subsequently retained a boutique investment banking firm with knowledge and expertise in media companies.  The reason for retaining this firm was to assist management in raising capital and exploring strategic relationships.”

“The activity continues.”

11 Responses

  1. Guest

    This is a cool Tunecore website you have here. Do you have any suggestions about where I could find some other music news?

    • Ghost of Rick Ross

      You obviously weren’t there for the epic smackdowns with Jeff Price.

  2. shame

    Glad i’m not part of the ‘TuneCore Legal fund’ ie, one of their poor artists… “Another one bites the dust”

    • Zac Shaw

      Would you expect anything less from a music business based on exploiting artists?

      Direct patronage is the panacea to this crap.

  3. Joda

    They are effectively killing the company with all of this unecessary schoolgirl drama.

    Fellas, grow some balls and shut the fuck up.

    • Visitor

      Is this killing the company? They seem to be performing now better than every before. Artists keep talking about leaving, but it doesnt seem like it is actually happening.

    • Extortion

      That’s because they’re being effectively extorted, like a gym membership.

      If an artist pulls their account, down goes all their music from all the digital distributors.

      Most artists don’t make $50/per album per year but continue to pay the fees anyway. Much like the couch potato reasons “I’ll go back to the gym sometime” the musician reasons “I’ll sell a bunch of albums at some point.”

      Everyone telling musicians to shut up and focus on their craft and when they’re maestros they’ll be “discovered” and a business team will magically spring up… you are all insane. Musicians need to focus on their careers. We need a new culture of entrepreneurship.

      Price was part of the movement to democratize the industry, but over time Tunecore became another PRO, this time to collect our percentage of digital downdloads and streams. PROs don’t innovate, they just collect. They too are intermediaries next on the chopping block — even the majors are chopping them now.

      This new music industry is exciting stuff!

      • Chris

        “If an artist pulls their account, down goes all their music from all the digital distributors.”

        Surely you mean digital stores? And if your contract with ANY distributor stops of course they are going to pull down your content as they cease to have the rights to sell it.

  4. ya

    this is great news and i can’t wait to see what price, wells, and burke have in development!

    • Zac Shaw

      Probably another exciting, innovative serivce nonetheless funded by exploiting the business naivete of musicians.

      • ya

        what they’ve done is fucking awesome dude. if you’re a musician and you don’t have a clue, that’s on you, but you can make alot of money with it if you’re talented and smart.