Kanye West And Tidal Sued By Fan Over “The Life of Pablo” Release
Kanye West and the music streaming service Tidal were sued on Monday by a fan named Justin Baker-Rhett, who claims he was deceived into buying a subscription for the site because he was falsely told it would be the only way to listen to the rapper’s new album. West originally announced that The Life of Pablo would only be available via the platform, but it has since been made available to stream for free on both Apple Music and Spotify.
In his proposed class action lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Baker-Rhett states that millions of fans signed up for Tidal in February only because of West’s assertion it would be the only way to hear his new music. The court filing references one of the rapper’s tweets, which said, “My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.” That changed in recent weeks.
The lawsuit further maintains that Tidal unjustly earned as much as $84 million through two million new subscribers who signed up to listen to The Life of Pablo under the promise of exclusivity. Baker-Rhett also argues that Tidal was able to store personal information, including credit card numbers and other data, from the new users, which he’s demanding the company now delete. His attorney says in a statement, “We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a license to mislead the public.”
The lawyer goes on, “We believe that we will be able to prove to a jury that Mr. West and Tidal tricked millions of people into subscribing to their services and that they will ultimately be held accountable for what they did.” The suit also names a company owned by Jay Z as a defendant. The mogul is one of Tidal’s main owners. Neither he nor West has commented on the litigation.