Prince‘s estate have sued Jay Z‘s Roc Nation over allegations the label’s service Tidal has been illegally streaming the late singer’s back catalogue.
Prince’s label NPG Records and NPG Music Publishing filed a federal suit on Tuesday (15Nov16) in the latest development in the estate’s battle against Jay Z’s streaming service.
The star, who died aged 57 from a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on 21 April (16), struck a deal with Tidal in 2015 to release what ended up being his final albums, Hit n Run Phase One and Hit n Run Phase Two, one further album of new music and a remix album.
Before his death, Prince also pulled all his music from rival apps such as Spotify, leaving his tunes only on Tidal, but the terms of the deal were unclear.
While Tidal filed a petition in a Minnesota court last week (11Nov16), claiming that the service has “the right to exclusively stream (Prince’s) entire catalogue of music, with certain limited exceptions,” NPG Records insist the streaming rights were only for Hit n Run Phase One.
They continue in the suit to accuse Roc Nation of “exploiting many copyrighted Prince works in addition to the works that comprise the Hit n Run Phase One album” when they began streaming the late star’s 15 albums in June (16), on what would have been the singer’s birthday.”
NPG also argue Roc Nation has yet to produce any documents supporting their claim that they have “both oral and written” agreements stating that they have exclusive streaming rights for Prince’s entire catalogue on Tidal.
They are now suing Tidal for copyright infringement and requesting to block the service from streaming any of the musician’s work in the future, bar his final album.