Jake P. Noch, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of US Performing Rights Organization Pro Music Rights (PMR) has received two million dollar-plus settlements in two separate lawsuits against publicly-traded companies.
The first is a $1.27 million settlement in a lawsuit against the publicly-traded China Food and Beverage Company (CHIF), which operates in the medical cannabis business, with the case decided in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in Collier County, Florida on June 10, 2020,
In the second lawsuit, decided on September 15, 2020, Noch was awarded a final judgment of $1.29m against publicly-traded Net Savings Link, which was also decided in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in Collier County in Florida.
NSAV’s listing on the OTC markets site suggests that the company previously considered itself to be a “fully integrated technology company, which provides turnkey technological solutions to the legal medical cannabis and hemp industries, as well as other areas of the medical industry”.
The company announced on November 25 that it “has settled all litigation in the matter of Jake P. Noch vs. NSAV with prejudice”.
China Food and Beverage Company, whose OTC markets site profile states that its “vision is to market beer, hemp beer and related products in the US, China and Canada”, also announced on November 25 that it has “settled all litigation in the matter of Jake P. Noch vs. CHIF with prejudice”.
Both companies’ OTC markets profiles appear to list the same President, James Tilton, who stated regarding both settlement cases: “We are pleased to leave this dispute behind us.
“Myself and the rest of the management team hope to be able to announce in the near future exciting new opportunities that we expect will benefit the company and our shareholders.”
As part of the settlement, Noch granted CHIF and NSAV “an option to purchase in whole and not in part” 20% of the “fully outstanding membership interests” of Pro Music Rights Distribution and Florida-based independent music company Sosa Entertainment, which is also owned by Jake P. Noch, for an aggregate purchase price of $255 for each membership interest.
CHIF announced on Saturday (November 28) that it has acquired options that give it the right to acquire that 20% stake in Sosa and a 20% stake in Pro Music Rights Distribution. CHIF issued an unsecured promissory note for the principal sum of $175.5 million, together with accrued and unpaid interest and expects to complete the exercise of the options shortly.
Meanwhile, NSAV also announced on Saturday (November 28) that it has acquired options that give the company the right to acquire a 20% stake in both Sosa and PMR. NSAV also issued an unsecured promissory note, this time for the principal sum of $486.54m, together with accrued and unpaid interest. NSAV expects to complete the exercise of the options shortly.
In October Noch’s company Pro Music Rights (PMR) also sued US supermarket chain Meijer for allegedly refusing to pay fees agreed in a contract for a public performance license. The lawsuit alleged that a Meijer employee entered into a contract on behalf of the company with PMR.
PMR also hit headlines earlier this year for suing “the entire music industry” over what it alleged was a potential “conspiracy to shut PMR out of the market and to fix prices at infracompetitive levels”.
Another of Noch’s businesses, Florida-based independent music company Sosa Entertainment LLC, sued Spotify towards the end of last year, claiming, amongst other things, that Spotify has not paid Sosa full royalties associated with over 550 million streams.
Spotify launched a countersuit in May, claiming that its fraud-monitoring team found “unmistakable signs that the streams of Noch and Sosa’s content had been artificially inflated”.
In June, Sosa asked a federal Judge to dismiss Spotify’s countersuit, calling the streaming company’s action “procedurally defective” and “legally deficient”.
On July 2, PMR and Napster owner Rhapsody jointly filed a notice at the US District Court in Connecticut, stating that the two parties had agreed that PMR’s action against Rhapsody should be dismissed “with prejudice”.
On July 8, a near-identical filing came from iHeartMedia and PMR, followed, on July 10, by another filing that indicated an agreed dismissal (again, “with prejudice”) between PMR and UK-based 7Digital.
Most recently, on Monday (July 27), another agreed dismissal (again, “with prejudice”) was filed by the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC), following the same wording as the others. (You can read each filing through the relevant links here.)
Bloomberg Law noted in July that the fact that all of these dismissals have been made “with prejudice” is significant, as it suggests that each party has been settling out of court with PMR. (It also means the suit can’t be refiled against the defendants in each case.)Music Business Worldwide