(Hypebot) – A case brought by two co-founders of TuneCore against the indie digital music distributor has merit and will moved forward, a U.S. District Court ruled late last week. The plaintiffs allege that that they have not received promised cash and/or stock options for more than 10,000 hours of work. Tunecore and related defendants had moved to dismiss the suit.
A lawsuit by two co-founders of TuneCore has merit and will move forward, a U.S. District Judge Dolly McGee ruled late last week.
Consultant and former Tom Petty and New Order manager Thomas Atencio and former TuneCore CFO Gian Caterine each allege that promised cash and /or stock options were never paid.
According to court documents obtained by Hypebot, "Caterine’s causes of action in connection with the 2009 and 2012 stock option agreements are currently in arbitration, while Caterine’s causes of action related to the pre-2009 stock option agreements will be litigated in this Court alongside Atencio’s causes of action for breach of contract and fraud."
Another co-founder, former TuneCore and now Audiam CEO Jeff Price responded to the the ruling:
"Under my tenure as the founder and former CEO of TuneCore, I hired hired both Gian (aka John Cate, 10 albums released, active touring band) and Tom (managed/represented: Tom Petty, New Order, Jane’s Addiction, No Doubt and Gwen Stefani, as well as helped to establish Lollapalooza, the international music festival. Atencio also initiated “Rock the Vote.”).
"In addition, I was the CEO and Chairman of the Board when the stock option grants were made.
"I agree with court’s decision. Gian and Tom need to be paid for the years of work they put into the company that directly contributed to TuneCore being bought by Believe Digital for over $35,000,000. TuneCore’s position is indefensible and suggests a personal grudge against Tom and Gian to the possible detriment of the company, the former shareholders and all artists.
"They should just pay them."
(read a pdf of the full ruling)