Earlier this week, Tidal was slapped with a $5 million lawsuit over unpaid mechanical royalties, similar to at $150 million class action against Spotify. Now, Tidal is responding in no uncertain words.
Here’s a statement issued by the Jay Z-owned streaming company.
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 main compositions in question were release by The American Dollar and their entire catalogue 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.
Separately, more turmoil is happening at the top. According to Swedish magazine BreakIt, CFO Chris Hart has been fired, with a refusal to report data to Nielsen Music cited as a possible reason. Hart’s departure was confirmed by Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv, which also pointed to the ouster of COO Nils Juell. “Tidal has terminated CFO Chris Hart and COO Nils Juell,” the company affirmed in a separate statement. “As Tidal has grown into a global operation serving 46 countries we have moved our accounting and operations team to New York while our technology team and key support staff remain in Oslo”.
No. I can’t speak to Yesh’s claims, but no, Tidal is not up to date on paying all royalties.
Tidal has never paid any US streams for the months of August – November. Go and check your accounts. Nothing. They owe everyone and are refusing to do anything about it.