Jay Z and Prince’ Estate Clash Over Singer’s Digital Catalog
Jay Z’s Roc Nation and the Prince estate are at odds over the fate of the late singer’s catalog and its exclusive deal with the streaming service Tidal.
In documents filed into a Minnesota court over the past few months, both sides stated their claim to the catalog, which has streamed exclusively on Jay Z’s service since Prince withdrew his catalog from all other services in July 2015.
In Roc Nation’s petition, filed last Friday and obtained by Rolling Stone, the company asked the court to enforce what they claim is an agreed-upon arrangement with Prince concerning his digital catalog as well as “access to information concerning Bremer Trust,” the administrator of Prince’s estate, and their “business dealings.”
An updated petition followed the Prince estate’s deal to bring their in-house publishing, and thus the rights to Prince’s catalog, to Universal Music as part of a new partnership. That deal, according to Billboard, would threaten Tidal’s exclusive rights to Prince’s catalog, as Universal and the estate would prefer to have Prince’s music on additional streaming services to maximize revenue.
According to TMZ, the Prince estate filed a separate petition accusing Roc Nation and Tidal of streaming 15 Prince albums without authorization that fell outside their initial agreement with the musician.