Jay-Z's Roc Nation and Tidal Fight Back Against Prince's Estate Over Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

The rapper's affiliated companies file court papers in response to a copyright lawsuit, which was filed by the estate's administrator Bremer Trust last November.
The legal battle over Prince's music catalog is heating up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jay-Z's Roc Nation and Tidal owner Aspiro have filed court papers in response to a copyright lawsuit, which was filed by Prince's estate administrator Bremer Trust last November. The companies challenge Trust's ability to make moves on the singer's treasured music catalog.

In response to the copyright infringement lawsuit, Aspiro claims that Tidal and Roc Nation should have received more rights than Trust's claim. Aspiro also believes that Trust's claim may be barred because he lacks "the requisite authority to authorize the instant lawsuit" and because "Plaintiffs are not the real parties in interest with respect to the claims asserted." In a separate filing, Roc Nation asserts that Prince's NPG Records lacks valid copyright registrations and has committed copyright misuse.

The filings come amid the news that representatives for Prince's estate are hoping to have legal actions to be resolved and have the singer's music available on Spotify and Apple Music before the Grammys next month. The administrator reportedly asked Universal Music Group to begin negotiating these rights last November.

The estate has been locked in a legal battle with Tidal after they filed a lawsuit against Roc Nation and Aspiro, claiming that the companies had violated an agreement to stream Prince's final album "HITNRUN (Phase One)" and "HITNRUN (Phase Two)" exclusively for 90 days. They asserted that the streaming services subsequently put 15 of the singer's albums on their site. However, Roc Nation claimed to have had written and oral agreements with Prince, but allegedly didn't turn them over to the estate or NPC Records.

Despite the new filings, neither Aspiro nor Roc Nation has filed a countersuit against Trust. However, they both are sticking to the contention that Tidal was licensed or authorized to stream Prince's works.

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