Yesterday, (Feb. 29) rumors were swirling that Jay Z was going to be in some trouble with his streaming service Tidal. At the beginning of the rapper-turned-mogul’s new business endeavor, Hov promised that his company would be the first of its kind to take care of artists in regards to having the highest royalty payouts for artists.
John Emanuele, of the band The American Dollar, and Yesh Music, LLC. were claiming that the company did not live up to that contractual promise, hitting back with a $5 million class-action lawsuit.
Tidal later released the following statement, dismissing the allegations:
TIDAL is 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. 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 entire catalogue in question 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. This is the first we have heard of this dispute and Yesh Music, LLC should be engaging Harry Fox Agency if they believe they are owed the royalties claimed. 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.
The news of the lawsuit comes days after reports revealed that Samsung is looking to buy Tidal. More details regarding that proposal have yet to surface.