I’ll be honest: this is kind of weird that borderlines on “frivolous lawsuit.”
As many know, when Kanye West announced his seventh studio album The Life of Pablo, he proclaimed that it would only be available on the streaming service TIDAL. Predictably, after ‘Ye tinkered with the original released on February 14th, he re-released it on April 1st on the other major streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify.
Well, one disgruntled TIDAL subscriber has sued West for taking Pablo to the other streaming platforms. Justin Baker-Rhett filed a lawsuit at the in U.S. District Court in San Francisco claiming that West West “fraudulently promised fans” that the album would exclusively remain on TIDAL.
Now, if he filed a lawsuit under the pretense of false advertising it, as skittish as it appears, would make sense. However, that is not the case: according to Bloomberg…
“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.
“Mr. West’s promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy,” the lawsuit states, noting that users’ credit card information, music preferences and other personal information have been collected.
“The lawsuit contends the value of new subscribers and their personal information could be as much as $84 million for Tidal.”
“We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a license to mislead the public,” Baker-Rhett’s attorney Jay Edelson wrote in a statement. “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.”
I understand the “tricked millions of people” part. I even, kinda-sorta, get the “consumer privacy” part as well. But at the same time, nobody forced the plaintiff and the other millions of people to willingly submit their credit card information to TIDAL like many have done for a variety of other websites.
Also, where did the $84 million valuation come from? Either way, this is the second lawsuit TIDAL has faced in 2016, as JAY Z and the streaming service are facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit from The American Dollar band member John Emanuele and the Yesh Music, LLC publishing company.