Jay Z’s Tidal claims it has legal rights to stream Prince’s music
The estate of the late singer has maintained since November that Tidal is wrongly streaming Prince’s 65 albums.
The issue has gained importance as the Grammy Awards are now just a month away.
It is expected that the Feb. 12 event, billed as “music’s biggest night,” will feature a major tribute to the Purple One.
That tribute is expected to spark a new wave of interest in Prince songs — to both download and stream.
And that has raised the temperature on the fight over who will be in a position to profit from that interest.
The estate sued Tidal in November, accusing it of distributing Prince’s entire catalog, despite having agreed to license only a single album — “Hit N Run: Phase 1” — and for only 90 days.
Its suit also alleges that none of the Jay Z-affiliated entities have “provided any documentation substantiating the claim” they have rights to exploit any of Prince’s copyrighted works other than “Hit N Run.”
In answering the complaint this week, Tidal’s owners, Aspiro and Roc Nation, turned up the heat by challenging even the estate’s right to sue them in the first place.
Bremer Trust, which manages the Prince estate, “lacks the requisite authority to authorize the instant lawsuit,” they said.
Meanwhile, reports this week said Prince’s estate is nearing distribution deals with non-Tidal streaming operations owned by Apple and Spotify.