Tidal being sued for $50 million over rights to exclusive album

Tidal canvasTidal is in the midst of a lawsuit regarding rapper Lil Wayne, who launched the “Free Weezy Album” on the streaming platform as an exclusive earlier this month. Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne’s longtime label, is suing Tidal for $50 million on allegations that it still has exclusive rights to Lil Wayne’s music.

Lil Wayne has been trying to break ties with the label for some time, including filing his own lawsuit against Cash Money for $51 million in January. He signed on as an artist-owner of Tidal in June, but it’s unclear whether that might conflict with his deal under Cash Money.

We discussed some of the common issues to Tidal’s business model earlier in the year after two so-called exclusives were quickly posted on YouTube and bootlegged online. The role of labels also adds a wrinkle to Tidal’s claims of artist ownership, since not all performers have contracts that let them make decisions about the release and distribution of their music.

Anna Washenko