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Jay Z’s Tidal representative dismisses lawsuit allegations

Representatives for Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal insist all payments are up-to-date after they were named in a $5 million (£3.6 million) royalties lawsuit.
The Empire State of Mind star relaunched the music brand last year (15) with new investors including his wife Beyonce, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Rihanna and Daft Punk.
The stars faced a barrage of criticism from fans, artists and critics alike, amid concerns the company’s subscription fees and lack of a free service could drive music lovers back to illegal downloads, but they fought back, insisting Tidal grants musicians a better cut of royalties compared to other similar services.
However, on Monday (29Feb16), executives at Jay Z’s company, S. Carter Enterprises, and two other firms involving Tidal were hit with a class action lawsuit from musician John Emanuele and bosses at Yesh Music LLC for copyright infringement and underpayment of royalties.
A representative for Tidal has now dismissed Emanuele’s claims, insisting he is going after the wrong companies for payment.
“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,” the representative told Fader.com. “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 representative explains Tidal has since removed Emanuele’s music from its online catalogue and also questions why Jay Z’s company is included in the lawsuit, because it is not connected to Tidal.
“We have now removed all music associated with Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele from the service,” the spokesperson continued. “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.”
A lawyer for the plaintiffs has since explained he included Jay Z because of his “control over Tidal”.
“(He) has made comments that he was exercising control over Tidal,” Richard M. Garbarini says. “Once you start exercising control you are putting (yourself) in the field of liability.”

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