Re: This was a clear and unambiguous threat to his life
Absolutely. Ultimately Muse Group will have 0 involvement on whether or not Tang is deported to China or not. Ray has made it very clear by now what his intentions were with his posts, and rather than call him a corporate shill, I think it's worthwhile to see his words and take them at face value. I've had my eye on Muse Group for a while and I have not seen enough to tell me that they are deliberately acting in a malicious manner, both the company itself and the included individuals in this particular incident.
If there were any hidden words at all, I think they would be Ray trying to spin Chistyakov's obvious second-language word salad from his original email to Tang in a better light; either that, or there was some intended malice/threatening there on Chistyakov's part.
But as far as I'm concerned none of this really matters. At the end of the day Muse Group is a corporation and they are beholden to the licensing agreements and contracts they have signed with the music groups that have agreed to upload their sheet music on the platform. Whether or not Muse Group or its representatives come off as malicious or not, it is still their job to protect those agreements, and it has been said that they are responsible for acting on behalf of the licensors to protect their intellectual property. Every company with IP to protect works this way. Muse Group is not somehow special for doing the same thing everyone else does. If anything, they are an outlier, since this whole thing has been made public and they are still continuing that public discussion, where other, larger groups would likely force things into the shadows with as much legal grunt they can muster, as we have seen in the past.
Something undeniable is that there is a clear legal threat from Muse Group to Tang that action will be taken if he does not rectify the situation, either by Muse Group themselves or by one or more of the licensors of the sheet music that Muse Group is offering. It is also undeniable that Tang is acting in a manner that results in the violation of the intellectual property rights of said licensors, and that he is doing this knowingly and willingly. However, we armchair Internet users are, if I can assume, not lawyers, and it should be left up to a court to determine his fate for his actions. If the court deems it so, then he will be charged for his actions. If he is charged, there is also a chance he will be deported. That is not anything Muse Group has any control over.
Additionally, Muse Group (specifically Ray) has been hesitant to push the envelope, and has given Tang multiple opportunities to take down his repositories and cease his actions, without resorting to litigation. I can tell you for a fact that Disney, the MAFIAA, BMG, and other such pond scum would not have given so many chances. That in and of itself is worth something in my eyes... even if it's possible that the reason they have not acted legally yet is because it came to light publicly. But even then, why would they sit on it for a year and change without filing? Would it just be too much of a hassle?
I think it should also be stated that the understanding of this situation does not equate to a lack of symapthy for Tang, despite his actions, and it does not somehow validate the actions of the CCP. We should attempt to separate the two. Fuck the CCP, fuck their cronies, and if I had my way no one would ever be deported back there. But it isn't my decision, it's the court's, and based on their actions so far, it's clearly it's not something that Muse Group (or at least Ray) want to put Tang to—for publicity reasons or otherwise.