The estate of deceased artist Prince, is suing Roc Nation for copyright infringement. The lawsuit claims that the company’s streaming service Tidal, has added unauthorized material from the artist’s catalog. The estate accuses Tidal of streaming 15 unreleased Prince albums.
Roc Nation filed paperwork stating it has oral and written agreements with Prince’s label NPG Records that grant Tidal the right to “exclusively stream Prince’s entire catalog of music, with limited exception” for the next five years. Prince’s estate says Roc Nation hasn’t provided any documentation to support those claims.
The lawsuit is a surprise to Prince fans. Prince was an advocate for Jay Z’s music subscription service since its initial release. Before his passing, he removed the majority of his music from other streaming services with the exception of Tidal. Many assumed the move to be a strategic method to gain leverage within the company.
Prince’s last album HITNRUN, was available exclusively for streaming on Tidal Sept. 7. Last month, Prince’s estate inked a deal with Universal Music Publishing Group, giving the company the exclusive worldwide publishing rights for Prince’s entire music catalog.
Tidal has not released a statement at this time.