Jay Z Sued by Prince’s Estate Over Streaming Rights
Last month it was reported that Jay Z and Tidal were in talks to purchase the rights to Prince’s unreleased music following the singer's death in April at the age of 57. However, shortly after, L. Londell McMillan, an advisor to Prince’s estate, told Billboard he has “no knowledge of any discussions in that report” and “there is no sale [of Prince’s music assets]." A few weeks later, it was reported that Tidal had allegedly posted Prince's music without his estate's permission.
Now, Jay and his streaming service are being sued by Prince's estate for copyright infringement, a complaint asserting that Prince's last album and the rest of his catalog were never up for grabs. Prince’s Hit n Run Phase Two was released exclusively on Tidal in December of 2015, though in the summer of that same year, he pulled all of his music from streaming sites.
NPG Records claims no other agreements were made and that Tidal “is exploiting many copyrighted Prince works.” The complaint cites Tidal adding 15 Prince albums to its service, and states that Tidal made no attempt to communicate with Prince's estate following his death.
Roc Nation meanwhile recently filed a petition claiming there were “various agreements” between the company and Prince, “both oral and written,” one of which awarded them exclusive streaming rights to Prince’s entire catalog. The estate is seeking damages and attorneys’ fees.
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