Believe Digital

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Believe Digital advertises itself as a French company which distributes digital music in Europe for independent artists and labels. The company is also known for allegedly fraudulent copyright claims on artists' music.

Believe's catalogue includes "Unbelievable" by EMF, and the catalogues of Naïve Records and Nuclear Blast.[1] It also serves as the distributor for the labels Wall of Sound[2] and Saregama.[3]

Believe Digital claims to be the official digital distributor of the Queen songs.

Description and history[edit]

The company was founded in 2005 by Denis Ladegaillerie, Arnaud Chiaramonti and Nicolas Laclias. [4] Believe acquired the American digital service TuneCore in April 2015.[5] Believe Digital's expansion was fueled by $60m growth capital investment from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and XAnge.[6] In August 2016, the company acquired the failing French independent label Naive Records for €10m, seeking to improve value from the company's extensive back catalogue, and restarted the label's issuing of new recordings as physical CDs in 2017.[7]

In September 2018, Believe acquired a 49% stake in French indie label Tôt ou tard from Wagram Music.[8]

In October 2018, Believe acquired a majority stake in German label Nuclear Blast.[9]

Fraudulent behaviour[edit]

The company has come under fire from numerous indie music developers and content creators for falsely claiming ownership of other artists' songs. For example, TeknoAXE, a royalty-free music artist, claims to have faced a DMCA complaint from Believe Music in mid-2018. The complaint in question was on a video containing a particular piece of his original music. TeknoAXE found out later that other creators who had fairly used his piece in their own work were also facing copyright complaints for the song. The complaints were all from Believe Music. According to TeknoAXE, by using Believe Digital's legal page, he was eventually able to have the complaint dropped.[10]

More recently, the YouTube channel Rousseau faced a near deletion because of copyright claims by Believe Digital. The channel, a classical piano music channel featuring live piano and digital visuals, had several videos claimed for both music and visuals by Believe Digital. Rousseau explained in a tweet on 12 January 2019 that because he cannot afford to sue the company, he relies wholly on disputing its claims through YouTube's claim system. Additionally, because of the number of claims, had he not won the dispute, he would have been unable to post videos, and, had the company filed a complaint on another video, the channel would have been taken down entirely.[11]

Other creators have claimed foul play as well, such as Jackie M, a food and lifestyle YouTuber who explained in a Medium article that although she always found copyright-free music for her videos, the company has been filing copyright claims against her content on a "near-daily basis."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ingham, Tim (2018-10-10). "Believe buys majority stake in rock and metal label Nuclear Blast". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  2. ^ Chris Cooke (2015-08-11). "Wall Of Sound allies with Believe for up coming releases". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  3. ^ Andy Malt (2014-02-05). "Indian label Saregama signs distribution deal with Believe". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  4. ^ L'Express Believe Digital, la pépite française de la musique qui fait de l'ombre aux majors Raphaële Karayan, 28 May 2015] "On en parle peu mais c'est pourtant l'une des "pépites" les plus prometteuses. Believe Digital, créé en 2005, est le leader français et européen de la distribution numérique d'artistes et de labels indépendants. Il a racheté en avril l'américain TuneCore, qui gère le catalogue numérique d'artistes indépendants le plus important au monde. "
  5. ^ Music Business Worldwide April 21, 2015 AFTER BUYING TUNECORE, BELIEVE DIGITAL READY TO CHALLENGE MAJORS "Believe Digital is confident that it will increasingly beat the major labels to artist deals in future – as the acquisition of Tunecore transforms it into a US $250m+ annual business."
  6. ^ JUNE 3, 2015 SPOTIFY’S $250M BACKER LEADS $60M INVESTMENT IN BELIEVE DIGITAL "Believe Digital has received $60m growth capital investment from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and XAnge."
  7. ^ Music Week Believe acquires French indie label Naïve in €10m deal
  8. ^ "Le groupe BELIEVE s'offre LILI LOUISE MUSIQUE , FUSACQ Buzz". Fusacq.com. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  9. ^ Ingham, Tim (2018-10-10). "Believe buys majority stake in rock and metal label Nuclear Blast". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  10. ^ SCAM ALERT: Believe Music on YouTube
  11. ^ @rousseaumusique (2019-01-12). "‼️I NEED YOUR HELP‼️ In less than a week, my channel may be GONE. @LudovicoEinaud @Believemusic_UK @artponderosa" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Jackie M (2018-06-08). "How I Deal With Fake YouTube Copyright Claims by Believe Music". Medium.com.