29 February 2016
Tidal Facing Lawsuit.
When Jay Z launched Tidal last year, he did so on the idea that the streaming service would be the first of its kind to take care of artists with higher royalty payouts. Now, it appears that Hov and Tidal are in some serious hot water over their royalty system, as they’re reportedly facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit from Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele from the band, the American Dollar.
The lawsuit claims that Tidal streamed 116 of the band’s copyrighted songs without paying back any royalty payments in the process. The firm Garbarini Fitzgerald P.C. reportedly filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court Southern District of New York over the weekend, according to the uploaded documents. As of now, neither Jay, Tidal, or Tidal’s parent company, Aspiro, which is also named in the suit, have responded to the case.
We spoke with the lawyer in the case, Richard Garbarini, on the phone, and he confirmed that the suit was filed over the weekend. Over the phone, Garbarini said that the band received no royalties for their work until this past Nov., and that the group asked months ago to have their music removed from Tidal. As of today, the band’s music is currently still available to stream on Tidal. “I find it fairly amazing an organization that claims it was going to pay the artists, systematically does not pay the artists,” Garbarini said.
Tidal reportedly used faulty numbers to make payments to artists and may have undercut the money they owed to artists by as much as 35 percent, according to the filed documents. The band claims that they were expecting monthly reports on royalty payments and usage of every song on the service, but nothing was ever sent, according to the lawsuit.