Songwriter Class Action Suits Filed Against Tidal, Jay Z, Slacker
Class action lawsuits alleging unauthorized song use have been by The American Dollar percussionist and keyboard player John Emanuele and the band's publisher Yesh Music against Tidal, Jay Z's S Carter Entertainment and music streamer Slacker in New York's Eastern District court.
The lawsuits, filed separately by the same attorney, were assigned to different judges. Both filings allege failure to pay royalties on 118 registered copyrights covering 148 musical recordings. If successful each lawsuit could lead to between $5 million and $20 million in damages. According to the filing, the tracks were delivered to both music services via Tunecore.
Tidal responded to the lawsuit late yesterday (bold added):
"TIDAL is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele's claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them. As Yesh Music, LLC admits in their claim, TIDAL has the rights to the Master Recordings through its distributor Tunecore and have paid Tunecore in full for such exploitations. Their dispute appears to be over the mechanical licenses, which we are also up to date on payments via Harry Fox Agency our administrator of mechanical royalties."
"The entire catalogue in question streamed fewer than 13,000 times on TIDAL and its predecessor over the past year. We have now removed all music associated with Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele from the service. This is the first we have heard of this dispute and Yesh Music, LLC should be engaging Harry Fox Agency if they believe they are owed the royalties claimed. They especially should not be naming S Carter Enterprises, LLC, which has nothing to do with Tidal. This claim serves as nothing other than a perfect example of why America needs Tort reform."