When Jay Z launched Tidal last year, he did it on the platform that the streaming service would be the first of its kind to take care of artists with higher royalty payments. After the official launch event, Jay even tweeted that Tidal was going to pay every artist, writer, and producer featured on the service a 75 percent royalty rate, which was higher than anyone else in the industry. Now, it appears that Hov and Tidal are in some serious hot water over their royalty payment system, as they're facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit from Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele from the band the American Dollar.
The lawsuit, which you can read over for yourself here via the Jasmine Brand, claims that Tidal streamed 116 of the band's copyrighted songs without paying back any royalty payments in the process. Not only that, but the suit claims Tidal used faulty numbers to make payments to artists and may have undercut the money they owed to artists by as much as 35 percent. At this moment, the American Dollar's music is still available on Tidal to stream.
Tidal doesn't give out streaming stats to the public or even artists, according to the lawsuit. The band claims that they were owed monthly reports on royalty payments and usage of every song, but nothing was ever sent and now they're suing for copyright infringement. The news of this lawsuit comes just days after a report surfaced that Samsung is in talks to buy Tidal from Hov, though nothing has been confirmed as of now. Tidal's success has been a true rollercoaster for the past year, but recently saw a bump in subscribers when Kanye West exclusively released The Life of Pablo on the service. We've reached out to Tidal on the lawsuit and will continue to update when more details come out.