Kanye West said recently that his new album The Life of Pablo would never make it to traditional retailers like iTunes, instead living solely on the streaming platform Tidal. With Tidal requiring a membership fee, it is perhaps unsurprising then that the BBC is reporting the album has been pirated 500,000 times in the three days since its release.

According to the report, The Life of Pablo appears twice in The Pirate Bay's ten most downloaded items list, and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed nearly 20 takedown requests to Google for websites illegally hosting the album or portions of it. A member of Torrent Freak called such tactics "costly and increasingly pointless" and said that the activity surrounding Kanye's The Life of Pablo is unlike any he had seen before.

"Generally we don't track music releases closely, so I'm not calling any records," he told the BBC. "However, I haven't seen numbers this high before for a music release - not with Adele either."

Adding to the piracy is Tidal subscribers who are unable to access the album through the service despite its exclusive hosting rights. Kanye has put on for the Jay Z streaming app lately, posting a screenshot to Twitter of the app leading worldwide downloads presumably thanks to Kanye's plug. While music pirating is nothing new, the fervor surrounding Kanye's latest has inspired a different level of file sharing. The question remains though, is it Kanye's music or a disdain for Tidal that's leading to the spike in thievery? Check out Kanye's tweets from Monday (Feb. 15) below.

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