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Jay Z's Tidal sued for allegedly not paying artists their royalties

'Different owner, same game'

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 01 March 2016 10:16

Since its inception, Jay Z has been touting TIDAL as “for the artists”, a streaming service that pays the people who actually make the music.

The rapper previously claimed that 75 per cent of all royalties would go to the artists, amassing a legion of the world’s biggest stars to sign their allegiance to TIDAL in some weird cult-like meeting.

Unfortunately, it looks like Mr Carter hasn’t kept his promise of being fair to all artists, as a lawsuit has been filed against TIDAL claiming $5 million in unpaid royalties.

Yesh Music Publishing and John Emanuele, member of duo The American Dollar, alleged that TIDAL had over 118 of the bands tracks available on the service yet they did not have permission to feature them.

The complaint, which you can seen online, reads: “Ironically, when Defendant CARTER purchased the TIDAL Music Service in 2015, it claimed it would be the first streaming service to pay the artists. Different owner, same game.”

Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Deadmau5, and Kanye West onstage at the Tidal launch event in March 2015

In a statement issued to Vulture by representatives of TIDAL, they claim they are “up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them.”

The statement continues: “As Yesh Music, LLC admits in their claim, TIDAL has the rights to the Master Recordings through its distributor Tunecore and have paid Tunecore in full for such exploitations. Their dispute appears to be over the mechanical licenses, which we are also up to date on payments via Harry Fox Agency our administrator of mechanical royalties.

“The main compositions in question were release(d) by The American Dollar and their entire catalogue streamed fewer than 13,000 times on TIDAL and its predecessor over the past year. We have now removed all music associated with Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele from the service.

Jay-Z launches Tidal

“They especially should not be naming S Carter Enterprises, LLC, which has nothing to do with Tidal. This claim serves as nothing other than a perfect example of why America needs Tort reform.”

Basically, don’t bad mouth Jay Z or you’ll get a nasty letter from TIDAL.

Recently, the streaming service made headlines for being the only place to listen to Kanye West’s latest album The Life of Pablo. Rihanna’s Anti was also made exclusively available through TIDAL.

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