Prince's estate is suing Jay Z for copyright infringement
by Jeremy Mersereau
November 16, 2016
Prince's estate says Jay Z and Tidal "exploited" the artist's death.
Another day, another massive L for Tidal and Roc Nation, Jay Z’s all-purpose business entity.
Prince’s estate is suing the hip-hop mogul, alleging copyright infringement over Tidal’s streaming of 15 of the late music legend’s albums (previously). According to the lawsuit filed by Prince’s music companies, NPG Records Inc. and NPG Music Publishing, Tidal only had the exclusive 90-day rights to stream one studio album – HitNRun: Phase 1.
According to the lawsuit, Tidal then started “exploiting many copyrighted Prince works in addition to the works that comprise the HitNRun: Phase 1 album” back in June. The suit says that Roc Nation claimed it had “both oral and written” agreements to exclusively stream Prince’s entire catalog, despite the fact that no documents that proved Roc Nation’s/Jay Z’s/Tidal’s rights to do so were forthcoming after multiple requests.
The lawsuit demands that Tidal immediately stop streaming any and all infringing Prince material (meaning anything other than HitNRun: Phase 1), as well as pay an unspecified amount of damages.
As of this writing, Tidal is still streaming a number of Prince albums. In court documents filed last week in Carver County, Tidal said its pre-existing contract gave it exclusive streaming rights to the entirety of Prince’s catalog. [h/t Fact]