UPDATED: UK Music CEO Michael Dugher is leading a music industry campaign demanding that Small Business and Consumer Minister Kelly Tolhurst refer PledgeMusic to watchdogs at the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.
UK based PledgeMusic is entering Administration, the UK equivalent of bankruptcy. The company suspended all crowdfunding campaigns on February 4th, leaving hundreds of musicians globally owed between between $1 and $3 million.
"As artists, It's now time we demand action from the industry bodies who support us," says musician Ian Baker of Jesus Jones. "It's time for them to forcefully pursue Pledge, to ensure that criminal actions can not go unpunished, and that those responsible for malicious, damaging, and heartless fraud on a massive scale are never allowed to do it again."
US based music industry attorney Chris Castle echoed a similar sentiment: “There’s really only one question in these situations: Where was the board?"
In his letter, Dugher called on the Consumer Minister to investigate the firm’s failure and refer the case to the CMA, the government office tasked with ensuring that markets work well for consumers:
"...artists were already enduring long delays in receiving payments. As a consequence, creators who used PledgeMusic’s services are likely to lose money, if it goes into administration without resolving its outstanding debts...
“Emerging artists often rely on crowdfunding platforms to raise capital to support album recording costs, music video costs and other capital expenditures.
“This is often a crucial step for them to progress through the music talent pipeline. Musicians should be able to trust crowdfunding platforms to fulfill their obligation of delivering money pledged by fans and supporters." [Read the full letter here.]
UK Music is an industry-funded body that represent the collective interests of the recorded, published and live arms of the British music industry. The UK Musicians Union is asking musicians who are owed money through the platform to contact them.