A Black-owned startup says Kanye West stole their technology to sell merch
Ye is in hot water again this week — and for once, it’s not about his scattershot presidential campaign. Kanye West is being sued by a tech company that alleges he stole their IP, according to TMZ. MyChannel, Inc. says the rapper promised to invest $10 million in the company, got them to relocate twice, then abruptly pulled the plug on their partnership. Ye also allegedly copied the startup’s technology to make millions selling Sunday School merchandise.
MyChannel, Inc. describes itself as a Black-owned business specializing in video and e-commerce technology. They say West approached them in the spring of 2018, to get their help maximizing revenue on Yeezy merchandise. MyChannel's lawyers say Ye didn't pay the company upfront — he incentivized the team to work around the clock for six months straight on the promise of a future $10 million investment. The company even relocated its headquarters twice, once to Calabasas and once to Chicago, in an effort to please West and keep the partnership afloat.
When the rapper walked away, the lawsuit states MyChannel was never paid for the $7 million in work they did for Yeezy Apparel, according to court documents reviewed by Pitchfork. The company also accuses West of rebranding MyChannel as "YZY Tech" during meetings with Adidas and presenting their IP as his own. To top things off, they say West copied their confidential technology and used it to sell merch in his Sunday School videos.
MyChannel is accusing West and Yeezy of breaching an oral partnership agreement, which hammers home a cardinal rule of business, kids: you should always have a contract. It’s also shocking that MyChannel moved cross-country twice in six months, first to Calabasas and then to Chicago, on West’s whims. But I guess if a billionaire musician and business mogul comes knocking, offering you $10 million and all sorts of prestige-by-association, you’ll bend over backwards to make that partnership work.
Anyhow, it looks like West has one more thing to worry about, in addition to possibly committing election fraud and missing the deadline to get on the presidential ballot in a number of states (including Wyoming, where he lives). Yikes.