Kanye West Hit With Lawsuit By Fan Over Tidal
On Monday, a Kanye West fan sued the rapper and the streaming service Tidal claiming they duped users into subscriptions based on the promise of being the exclusive outlet for West’s latest album, according to the Associated Press.
The proposed class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by Justin Baker-Rhett. He contends West fraudulently promised fans that his album, “The Life of Pablo,” would only be available on Tidal. The site charges users at least $9.99 a month, but West’s album has since been released for free on Apple Music and Spotify.
Millions of people flocked to Tidal in February because of West’s new album and the rapper’s promise of exclusivity, giving the struggling site a boost and also a trove of user information, the lawsuit states. Baker-Rhett is asking a judge to order Tidal to delete information collected on users who signed up for West’s album.
The lawsuit states, “Mr. West’s promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy,”, noting that users’ credit card information, music preferences and other personal information have been collected.
The lawsuit includes references to Twitter postings by West, including one from the rapper’s account that proclaimed,
My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.
The lawsuit contends the value of new subscribers and their personal information could be as much as $84 million for Tidal.
The lawsuit also lists a company owned by rapper Jay Z, who controls Tidal and enlisted top musicians including West to promote the service, as a defendant.
Tidal is a subscription-based music streaming service that combines lossless audio and high definition music videos with curated editorial. The service has over 25 million tracks and 85,000 music videos. Currently offering no free subscription plans, Tidal claims to pay the highest percentage of royalties to music artists and songwriters within the music streaming market. Tidal offers two digital music streaming services: Tidal Premium and Tidal HiFi. Tidal was launched in 2014 by Norwegian/Swedish public company Aspiro. It has distribution agreements with all of the three major labels, in addition to many indies. In the first quarter of 2015, the parent company Aspiro was acquired by Project Panther Ltd., which is owned by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.
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