TIDAL Faces $5 Million Lawsuit Over Non-Paid Royalties

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Add this to the list of TIDAL's problems.

Jay Z publicly defended TIDAL last April after it faced a barrage of negativity because people felt the company was a case of the rich getting richer. He released a lengthy statement detailing their strategy to pay a "75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers – not just the founding members on stage."

He wrote: "Rich getting richer? Equity values… YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million. My cousin just moved to Nigeria to discover new talent. Tidal is a global company. We have Tidal X – it supports artists by giving them a platform to connect with their most loyal fans. Tidal is for all. Our actions will speak louder than words."

That they do, and it's landed them in a $5 million lawsuit filed by Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele​ from the band American Dollar. They allege TIDAL streamed 116 of the American Dollar's copyrighted songs without paying back any royalty payments in the process as well as using inaccurate numbers to make payments to artists. They claim TIDAL short-changed them by as much as 35 percent, reports The Jasmine Brand.

The plaintiffs say, “Ironically, when Defendant Carter purchased the Tidal Music Service in 2015, it claimed it would be the first streaming service to pay the artists. Different owner, same game.” They add TIDAL hasn't provided monthly accounting reports to artists for royalties.

Yesh Music LLC and John Emanuele are asking for 150k in damages per infringement and filed an injunction from TIDAL from continuing to distribute their music illegally. TIDAL's music library includes over 25 million tracks, some of which aren't licensed or authorized by the artist. As of now, American Dollar's music remains available to stream in TIDAL.

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