Anyone remember our October story about plans by distributor Ditto Music’s spin-off company Opulous to sell music NFTs? “The company is exploring that area further through a partnership with Republic. No, not the major label imprint (imagine!) but a company that runs a startups investment platform,” we wrote at the time.
As it turns out, what the lawyers for UMG’s Republic Records were imagining was potential confusion between the two companies. Now the label is suing the investment platform alleging trademark infringement, and asking for Republic to be blocked from using its name for music-related services.
According to Reuters, the two companies were in discussions about a settlement in October, before Republic “dropped out of the talks and launched” its service in early November. That’s when Lil Pump raised $500kfrom selling a share of his music royalties as an ‘S-NFT’ using Republic and Opulous.
Republic (the investment one) isn’t a new company: it has been offering various types of investment since 2016. However, it’s the recent expansion into music NFTs that has led to the clash with Republic Records. Not least because, as the latter’s legal complaint makes clear, it has its own plans to explore NFTs…