A music firm which has denied claims of utilizing artists’ music with out permission is now going through the potential of being ordered to enter liquidation.
Information.com.au beforehand revealed that Blue Pie Data, a multimedia firm concerned in music manufacturing, licensing, publishing and distribution headquartered in Moss Vale, in NSW’s Southern Highlands, had left an sad path of artists in its wake who stated their music was taken with out their information or permission. Blue Pie Data denied this, saying in some instances errors had been made whereas in others they nonetheless had the rights to the music.
Blue Pie Data has plenty of entities together with Blue Pie Data USA LLC, Blue Pie Productions USA LLC, Blue Zebra Digital, Blue Vault Digital, Blue Pie Meta Information Companies, Meta Information Content material Companies and Ordior Meta Companies with workplaces within the US and Australia.
Now information.com.au can reveal an organization that’s a part of the embattled group, Blue Zebra Digital, can be beneath hearth from the tax division over an unpaid $209,000 debt.
A subsidiary, Blue Zebra Digital, which trades beneath plenty of totally different names together with Blue Pie Data, Blue Pie Productions, Planet Blue Footage and Ordior, is due within the Federal Courtroom later this month on February 23 to face a winding up software.
Blue Zebra Digital’s sole director, Damien Reilly, informed information.com.au he absolutely supposed to repay the debt and is negotiating a fee plan with the ATO.
Information.com.au has additionally unearthed the tumultuous previous of the Blue Pie Data group of companies and its director, which has seen a number of corporations collapse whereas it’s been revealed Mr Reilly went to jail many years in the past.
Blue Zebra Digital appointed restructuring companions, Gavin Moss and Henry Kwok of restructuring agency Chifley Advisory, in June final yr.
However they have been unable to come back to an settlement with collectors and resigned in August, they informed information.com.au.
Mr Reilly stated that no workers had been impacted by the corporate’s debt and that every one superannuation is updated.
“Importantly, the ATO is the only real creditor, as all different collectors have been paid out in full,” he informed information.com.au.
However in an embarrassing revelation for the federal government, Blue Pie has been the recipient of plenty of taxpayer funded grants regardless of its present tax deficit.
A Regional NSW spokesperson confirmed to information.com.au that Mr Reilly’s Ordior enterprise had acquired $300,000 in 2021 beneath spherical one of many Regional Job Creation Fund.
Blue Pie Data is presently being thought-about for the Export Market Improvement Grants Program funding from the Australian Commerce and Funding Fee (Austrade).
Mr Reilly stated that they had already “efficiently secured” this grant.
“We admire the assist offered by authorities initiatives, which permits us to additional contribute to the expansion and success of our export endeavours and creating jobs for Australians within the media and humanities sector,” he stated.
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In 1990, Mr Reilly was discovered responsible of fraudulent misappropriation of cash in NSW.
He was sentenced to 2 years and eight months in jail.
Mr Reilly stated “no remark” when information.com.au requested him about it.
ASIC data present that three corporations that Mr Reilly ran entered into administration or liquidation up to now decade.
Mr Reilly stated this was a “flow-on impact” of the International Monetary Disaster.
“We barely survived it, like most of Australia,” he stated.
“These companies have been by no means capable of recuperate, a few others did.”
In 2010, Ordior Pty Ltd went into liquidation with money owed of $442,000 to unsecured collectors.
All of the collectors have been a number of different Blue Pie entities and Mr Reilly. The corporate has since been deregistered.
Then Blue Vault Digital appointed directors in 2012.
The corporate had money owed of round $361,000 however Mr Reilly bought again Blue Vault Digital for simply $46,500.
This completely authorized observe is named a Deed of Firm Association or a DOCA, and permits a enterprise to wipe its debt and reclaim management if collectors comply with the quantity supplied.
Within the case of Blue Vault Digital, collectors have been paid 7c for each greenback they have been owed.
The tax workplace was one of many collectors, as was Mr Reilly, his spouse, and a number of other associated corporations.
Blue Vault Digital nonetheless trades to this present day. Mr Reilly’s spouse is presently the director however was not concerned on the time the corporate was in administration, nor was she concerned with Ordior Pty Ltd and Magic Blue Property Pty Ltd.
One other firm Mr Reilly ran, known as Magic Blue Property Pty Ltd, collapsed in 2015, owing $2.7 million to 16 unsecured collectors.
The Australian tax workplace was one of many collectors, in accordance with accounts paid by the corporate. Magic Blue Property has since been deregistered.
In 2014, a petition to bankrupt Mr Reilly was filed however was later dismissed, in accordance with the Nationwide Private Insolvency Index.
ASIC paperwork present there are a number of companies of which Mr Reilly is presently the director in Australia – Blue Zebra Digital, Blue Pie Meta Information Companies Pty Ltd, Meta Information Content material Companies and Ordior Meta Companies Pty Ltd.
In the meantime, Blue Pie USA LLC is a registered firm within the US state of Nevada and with workplaces in Delaware.
Ex workers converse out
Information.com.au has additionally spoken to a number of former Blue Pie workers members on the situation of anonymity.
One ex-employee, James*, who labored there throughout the pandemic, stated “it was like a revolving door” due to excessive workers turnover.
As soon as, he stated a employee give up after simply someday.
A number of workers have been on wage subsidies, in accordance with James, and others have been unpaid interns.
Fabian* was an unpaid intern for a yr and made a criticism to the Truthful Work Ombudsman over his considerations.
He stated he didn’t obtain a lot in the way in which of coaching or studying, and basically labored a salaried place with out pay.
Blue Pie Data stated it had dealt with the office criticism from years in the past.
Mr Reilly denied there was a excessive workers turnover although he did “recall one individual leaving after a day” however stated he believed there have been “different components” at play.
The corporate had engaged plenty of interns from all around the world, in accordance with Mr Reilly, offering them with “employable abilities and workplace expertise”.
“We’re regionally situated and conscious that there are restricted work alternatives within the inventive industries,” he stated.
“Because of this, we’ve got a proper intern coaching program, with formal agreements, NDA, and employment circumstances together with lunch being supplied.”
Allegations of unauthorised use of music
It comes after a information.com.au investigation uncovered plenty of musicians who claimed Blue Pie Data had used their work with out permission, which the corporate has denied.
Information.com.au spoke to 2 artists who believed that they had missed out on profitable file offers as a result of they declare Blue Pie Data had distributed their music with out their permission or information.
Once they went to signal an unique take care of a file label, they couldn’t, as a result of their music was already all around the web.
Ann-Marita Garsed, a Norwegian musician residing within the US, stated the file label had been offended to seek out that her music was already on Blue Pie’s web site and different distribution channels. They promptly pulled the deal.
Ms Garsed had despatched Blue Pie Data one CD for one tune for use in a charity compilation, however all of the CD’s songs have been then all uploaded on-line and it took greater than a decade to get it taken down.
“It’s such as you’re caught with it (Blue Pie) for all times. It left a foul style in my mouth and quite a lot of mistrust,” Ms Garsed informed information.com.au. “I’m terrified that that is going to occur once more.”
Likewise, US musician Frank Rogala stated he was on the point of signing over a $7000 file deal when he seemed up his music on-line and realised it was being distributed by Blue Pie Data.
He needed to bow out of the file deal because of this.
Blue Pie Data stated that they had since taken the music down and apologised for what occurred to Ms Garsed, whereas saying they by no means had any direct contact with Mr Rogala.
Two different musicians stated they despatched demo tapes to Blue Pie Data. This was solely supposed to supply a taster of their music however ended up on the Blue Pie Data catalogue.
“I needed to change my identify,” Alex Martin informed information.com.au from North England.
“They have been demos, they weren’t completed.”
One other artist, Phil Munro, claims he had an analogous expertise within the early 2000s after being requested to ship by way of some remixes to the Aussie music firm.
“Afterward I discovered that Blue Pie had launched these with out my permission,” he informed information.com.au.
“Anybody who listened to it will assume ‘they sound like sh*t’. They weren’t meant to be for launch. It’s fairly poor kind.”
Blue Pie stated it was unaware the artists have been sad and inspired them to contact the corporate.
Blue Pie additionally mistakenly claimed unique rights to the Bon Scott property on its web site, when this isn’t the case.
“Blue Pie has by no means had any relationship, affiliation or affiliation with both Bon Scott personally or his Property,” Sonic Rights, the company truly accountable for the rights, stated in a press release to information.com.au.
The Australian music firm stated this was an error because of updating their web site and that it had since been corrected.