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Champions of music rights, Jay-Z and Tidal, sued for illegally streaming Prince's music

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:47 IST

And today in but-why-bro, we have Beyonce's husband, Jay-Z, being sued over illegally streaming Prince's songs. This, after Tidal has championed the cause of music rights, booed at free music streaming and generally stuck its nose at anyone who wouldn't bend to its diktat of paying for music.

Prince's record labels NPG Records Inc and NPG Music are filing a federal lawsuit alleging copyright infringement against Jay-Z's Roc Nation and its streaming service Tidal, reports aceshowbiz.com.

According to the suit filed, Roc Nation has overstepped an agreement Prince signed with Tidal before his death which stated that the latter could stream and sell Prince's "next newly recorded studio LP "HITNRUN (Phase One)".

Tidal owned exclusive rights to the new material for 90 days since the agreement was signed on 1 August 2015.

The suit states that Roc Nation, through Tidal, beginning from 7 June 2016, is "exploiting many copyrighted Prince works in addition to the works that comprise the 'HitNRun: Phase 1' album."

Basically they signed on for one album but happen to be using Prince's music from other albums as well. Things got worse when Jay-Z's company filed documents in Carver County District Court in November, asserting it had "both oral and written" agreements to exclusively stream Prince's 'entire catalogue' of music on Tidal, but it did not provide any documents to support that claim, according to the complaint.

Roc Nation continues "to reproduce, distribute and publicly perform" Prince's music.

Prince's record labels demand that Roc Nation, Tidal, stop streaming and selling the late singer's music other than "HITNRUN (Phase One)". They are seeking unspecified damages.


With inputs from IANS

First published: 16 November 2016, 4:20 IST