On Tuesday, Prince’s label NPG Records filed a federal lawsuit in Minnesota against Jay Z’s Roc Nation, alleging that Tidal is committing copyright infringement by continuing to stream the artist’s back catalog.
NPG maintains that Prince only gave Tidal permission to stream songs from one of his albums, “Hit n Run Phase One,” for 90 days after an agreement between the two companies was reached on Aug. 1, 2015. Conversely, Roc Nation and Tidal assert that the agreement gave them the right to “exclusively stream [Prince’s] entire catalog of music, with limited exceptions.”
In July 2015, the Prince removed his music from every streaming service except Tidal, before later announcing on Aug. 7, 2015, that his next album would be released on Jay Z’s streaming platform.
“Tidal have honored us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows us to continue making art in the fashion we’ve grown accustomed to and we’re extremely grateful for their generous support,” the singer announced at the time.
Tidal had previously praised the singer after his death, calling him “a genius, innovator, creator, family member,” on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
However, the fresh lawsuit is another hurdle for Tidal after a tumultuous 2016, after Jay Z filed his own lawsuit against the previous owners in March, and Apple entered negotiations to acquire the company before later backing down.