An EDM record label is asking the judge overseeing the SFX bankruptcy case to force Beatport to turn over certain documents regarding an alleged “juicing” scandal.
Lawyers for Art & Music Recording (AMR) want Delaware Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath to agree to a subpoena of Beatport for documents related to the removal of six tracks on the EDM music store. Beatport has accused AMR of juicing the tracks — artificially purchasing copies of the song in large numbers to try and drive up their chart position and make the songs appear to be more popular than they actually are. Beatport is owned by SFX, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and is hoping to emerge as a privately held company later this year.
In 2015, Beatport allegedly notified AMR that it had “evidence” that certain tracks owned by AMR and licensed to Beatport had been artificially juiced. Beatport has a policy that restricts a licensor “from buying its own music for the sake of increasing chart sales and performance, and has unilaterally removed tracks from its charts if it suspects such activity has occurred.”
The songs in question were a remix of “You Got the Love” by Dr. Shiver and Candi Stanton, “Love For Life” extended remix by Dr. Shiver, Marc Typ’s “Sahara,” and David Allen’s “Quantum Time” plus two other undisclosed tracks. Beatport removed the tracks after telling AMR they had “conclusive” evidence the tracks were artificially juiced. AMR denied the claims and took Beatport to court in Colorado, demanding the company show proof that the tracks had been tampered with. Instead of waiting for a decision in the Colorado case, attorneys for AMR are “genuinely concerned about being bounced back and forth between the Bankruptcy Court and the State Court and possibly facing a claim by Beatport that such discovery is in violation of the automatic stay,” and “believes it has no choice but to come to this Court first.”
AMR is seeking a number of documents related to the case including “evidence that as-yet unidentified third parties are interfering with and manipulating the very ‘bread and butter’ of Beatport’s operations – its digital music charts.”
“If third parties are interfering with and compromising Beatport’s business operations,” the filing states, “such activity would be of significant concern to the Debtors’ creditor body and the Court as they consider the Debtors’ Plan and Disclosure Statement.”
A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Sept. 26 at 11:30 a.m. EST.