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Company named in Universal’s Smirnoff DJ contest lawsuit denies involvement

By | Published on Thursday 28 August 2014

Master Of The Mix

An Atlanta-based company has expressed surprise after being named on a lawsuit filed by Universal Music, over VH1 (and formerly BET) show ‘Master Of The Mix’.

As previously reported, Universal claims that the third series of the DJ talent show used, without licence, 93 songs represented by its publishing companies and 115 tracks owned by its labels. The programme is created on behalf of Smirnoff by marketing firm GTM Inc, though the lead defendant on the lawsuit is actually Je T’aime LLC, which seems to an associated company to GTM.

However, numerous reports focussed on another company listed in the litigation, called the Je T’aime Media Group Inc, which yesterday denied any involvement in the show, or with any of its other co-defendants. Speaking to CMU, the company’s CEO Susie Johnson said that she had never heard of the series and had only become aware of the lawsuit after being contacted by reporters.

In a statement, Johnson said: “Je T’aime Media Group Inc does not now or has ever had any dealings or associations with ‘Master Of The Mix’, its creators, its producers, Je T’aime LLC, GTM Inc, VH1, Viacom, BET or anyone associated with this show and its production. JTMG has not been made privy to any contractual agreements executed for this production, so at this time we are unable to provide an answer as to how or why this error occurred”.

She added: “JTMG projects are in the pre-production or production phase. We have not released any productions to date. Any productions of JTMG Inc or its subsidiaries will be completely original creations. Whether the production is music, novels, TV shows, or films, we only deal with original innovations from those who have been gifted with a solid message to share with humanity. Reality TV is not a genre of film that Nayánn Films, our film division, seeks to engage in”.

She concluded by saying that one of the lawyers representing Universal in the case, Alexander Frid of Miller Barondess LLP, “has admitted their mistake and is rectifying this issue”. The confusion, at least in part, seems to have arisen from the fact that JTMG and GTM both have offices on the same street in Atlanta.

Representatives for Universal and GTM did not respond to requests for comment.

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