Breaking: How Can Tidal Help Artists If They’re Already Ripping Them Off?

Jay Z is now relaunching Tidal, his newly-purchased streaming service.  To celebrate, Jay and his celebrity friends have launched a social media campaign with social justice overtones, saying Tidal will “turn the tide” and other vague inspirational claims.

Well, Björk-collaborator The Haxan Cloak and label Tri Angle Records say Tidal ripped them off in the new launch video…



Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

34 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    How’d they rip him off?

    Imitation? That’s not a rip off…

    It Sounds like it could just be a pad, i mean, people need to realize almost everything has been done and get over the whole imitation thing, many times its just pure coincidence, and so long as his music has already been released, there’s no beef here, other then him using someone else’s name publicly as a means of promotion and marketing, in an effort to boost himself up, which is just as bad or worse if you ask me, if his gripe is even justified…

    I get imitated all the time, and i am nothing but honored, its truly an honor to be happy with when someone of their stature imitates you, when its done from released and published material, so anything but respect and gratitude is nothing more then a slap in the face…

    No one imitates something or someone they don’t respect and admire, to toss it back in their face when he has zero standing, is just plain rude…

    Once something is released and published, it’s mostly fair game, just be honored man…

  2. Voyno

    Um so now this dude has a copyright on edgy atmospheric music? Thanks a lot Blurred Lines verdict.

  3. GGG

    Um…yea…pretty sure literally every single person who tries garageband makes that track in the first hour.

    • Anontech

      GGG you are one of my fav posters, so I’d like to know what you think about this:

      rpymzk4 . herokuapp . com

      • Sarah

        That’s a scary website address. 🙂

        It’s safe though (it didn’t eat my computer at least).

        I’d love to hear your thoughts on it as well, GGG

      • GGG

        I don’t get what it is.

        I highly doubt someone gave $100K to that Soilwork act through or website (or if they did, please introduce me haha), so I don’t really understand what’s going on. I read the FAQ and get the basic concept of donations, I’m just missing something else.

        • Sarah

          I don’t think any of these are real transactions – they are just there to illustrate what it would look like if there were users.

          My issue with this is that it kind of seems scammy (not saying they are – just that it looks like it). You can donate to any artist, who may or may not be affiliated with (or even know about) the site. Then, if the artist “refuses to accept” the money that you paid, the site keeps it as revenue for itself.

          How does the money get to the artists??

          It would look more legit and honest if the site answered that question – it’s a big thing to omit. For instance, “when you donate $10 to an artist, we contact the artist by [this method], or direct payment to the artist [this way], we make X attempts to actively get your donation to the artists, then if the artist doesn’t collect the money within Y time period, we keep it for ourselves.”

          • Repay Music

            Sarah is right. These are not real transactions going on obviously, hence the coming soon comment. Social media also reflects that.

            Also, yeah I need to add that question to the FAQ. I’m open to any suggestions regarding that.

            Payment is super simple because I’m using Stripe. All I need to do is give the artist a link to fill out bank info, they submit it, then start automatically getting donations deposited directly into their account on a 2-day rolling basis.

            And what, if any, should the maximum hold time of funds be? I obviously plan on holding them until I can deliver them to the artist. I’m willing to wait a lifetime.

          • Sarah

            I’d make it super clear to users that the artist isn’t necessarily affiliated with your service and may not actually get the money.

            Here’s another question: apart from actually transferring the money to the artist, how do you even inform the artist that you have money for him? I assume an artist isn’t supposed to just give you his bank info on the off chance that one day you collect a donation for him? Do you have accurate contact info for all artists who can potentially receive donations through your site?

            Honestly, it’s a nice idea but you should run this by a good lawyer before you launch or put any more money to it.

          • Repay Music

            We collect artist contact information when a fan adds the artist upon donation, which will be used to initiate contact via social media/official website. Should that also be added to the FAQ?

            This means an artist can only exist on the site if a fan has donated to them (or the artist donated to themselves, in which case, shame on you!).

            Also, not every artist will be able to use our payment processor initially due to country limitations. You can google “stripe global” for the current list of countries supported. I probably should also add this to the FAQ.
            This means we will have to use other payment methods until their country is supported.

            Thanks for all the feedback Sarah, and good luck with RepX.

          • Sarah

            So I sign up Taylor Swift, give you @taylorswift13 as her contact info, and you…… send her tweets saying “we have money for you, contact us”? Or you go through FB or whatever – that doesn’t seem like a very effective strategy. Have you tested your ability to successfully contact artists this way?

          • Repay Music

            That’s essentially how it will work. If it’s not effective, that means social media communication is not effective, in which case we will have to investigate other means. Another option would be to meet up at a concert. This is all very new and of course will require a fair amount of trial and error. Initial tests do suggest contact may not be easy, but hopefully it becomes easier when people realize we actually deliver the goods.

          • Sarah

            That’s why I think you need to have a chat with a good lawyer. If I give you money solely as a result of a reasonable expectation, cultivated by you, that the money will in fact get to Taylor Swift, and the money does not get to Taylor Swift but stays in your bank…. well, I hope you can see how that could be a big problem for you.

            “we’ll do our best to get your money to taylor swift through social media, but we cannot guarantee it’ll get to her and we don’t have any direct communication or affiliation with her; if this money doesn’t get to her, you can’t have it back, we keep it” –

            unless you make that super clear to people before they give you a single penny, I’m sorry to say that what you’re doing could be considered seriously deceptive, potentially fraudulent. You seem to have good intentions, but this is a problematic business and you may want to consider other ways of achieving your goal of enabling fans to support artists. Best of luck.

          • GGG

            Yea, I mean, the concept is fine, though you’re just setting yourself up to be yelled at by tons of artists/managers/labels, etc. Though, at the same time, they are only owed money due to the existence of your site, in a way, so you have that argument.

            I’m not going to say it won’t work, because who knows, it might, but as I said, I think this can turn into a huge headache for you pretty quickly. Anything involving major labels is a clusterfuck. I’ve done stuff with filming basic live performances of low-level major label artists and the videos were tied up for months (some never actually released) because of lawyers bickering back and forth. It’s just ridiculous.

            BUT, for argument’s sake let’s say it works, I think you’ll need some incentive for fans to donate. Patreon has random shit the artists make, Bandcamp has the music for name your own price, etc. So I guess the question to figure out is WHY would people donate through your model?

          • Repay Music

            I agree, that question will ultimately decide my fate.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        Guys, you can post links in comments, it’s just that we have to approve them. So there’s a little delay. The reason is that spammers often load their comments with BS links, so we just made a rule that any comment with a link needed to be vetted.

  4. Someone from Brazil

    “I’m saying they used an imitation of it.”

    C’mon… seems like everything will be copyright infringement and/or ripping of from now on.
    Someone looking for self-promotion? Check.


  5. S

    Dude, that kind of stuff as been done over and over again.

  6. Anonymous

    unknown artist riding the JAY Z / TIDAL wave at the last possible minute

  7. Anonymous

    How is the bass echo of footsteps considered copying? So whenever I am watching a scary movie and they play the sound of loud footsteps, did they steal your music too? BTW When is Bjork gonna get off her lazy tush and put out new music?

    • Me

      Are you serious? She just released Vulnicura earlier this year.

  8. Paul Resnikoff

    I go back and forth on this. Post-Blurred Lines, I think everyone is screaming, ‘this is going too damn far!’… there are only so many notes, chords, and rhythm combinations out there.

    But then I see something like this, and wonder how much is ‘borrowing’ and how much is just plain ‘stealing’.

    “Dear Audi, Thanks for Stealing My Music. Sincerely, Sohn.”

    • Anonymous

      the reality is all these people are just too important for the big wheels and therefore can get away with it all, its all becoming increasingly boring, learn from my mistakes, yes sir no sir how high sir, relationships are the only thing that matter at any cost, dont be too good to the point you make people jealous, dont let on you know too much, just be a diligent obedient drone employee company man, whether you have to lie or be fake or anything, nothing else matters in this life besides who you know and what circles you are in, period…

      be born rich or not at all…

  9. Anonymous

    Nina- are you the tech industry’s mouthpiece on this site?

  10. Me2

    I’ve been listening to Haxan Cloak for a few years and really like the music, but c’mon, what a stretch. Modulated noise making a heartbeat sound? I did that when i was 16 in the 80’s, probably because I’d already heard it in a movie! Joke.

  11. Riccobono

    This may be an attempt to charge premiums via the creation of periods of exclusivity on new releases from top artists. If so the EU Commission on Competition should have fun wiht this one.

  12. FarePlay

    The price of fame. All kinds of speculation flying around on this new streaming service, as well their should be. Unfortunately, it is canceling out the other story.

    Artists fed up with the current state of the music business jumping in and exploring ways to take it back. As working artists, the stakeholders in Tidal will have far greater pressure, as evidenced already in DMN, to do right by their fellow artists. Who knows if that will actually happen, but it certainly changes the dynamic of accountability.

  13. Anonymous

    Ill avoid the whole vote debate, but what you really need, is if you are just an ordinary joe, is to have a large lobbyist slush fund, to the point that your charitable political party support cheque will be large enough to get a nice special invite to a dinner party, where your support might be enough to actually have an affect on a decision, or at least provide your voice with the weight it needs to actually have a chance to be a small part of making change…

  14. Steve Sinclair

    Why should pigs who are non-musicians steal all the money when pigs who are musicians could be stealing all the money? I am artist oriented.

  15. Edward Jennings

    Responsible journalism, I think not.

    If you want to understand what TIDAL HiFi is up to cast your net wider than Digital Music News and Hypebot. Google deeper and read the NY Times, Billboard articles on TIDAL and other sources for starters.

    Educate yourself about the TIDAL business plan and its execution by reading the transcript from the Clive Davis School of Business. Jay-Z and Vania Schlogel, TIDAL Executive Management held a great discussion/interaction with music business students yesterday afternoon. See the transcript Web link below.

  16. Edward Jennings

    And guitarists never cop licks from other guitarists?