( 4UMF NEWS ) Cash Money Records Sues Jay Z’s Streaming Services:
Lil Wayne’s label Cash Money Records filed a $50 million lawsuit Thursday against Jay Z’s streaming companies, accusing them of violating their exclusive rights to Lil Wayne’s music.
Cash Money Records, which has had Lil Wayne, aka Dwayne Michael Carter, under contract since 1998, says in court papers that it has invested “tens of millions of dollars” in the artist over the decades and Jay Z’s companies will hurt their investment.
“(Their actions) are a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service which has failed to gain traction since its much publicized launch in March 2015,” CMR says in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
CMR, which is owned by Universal and run by Bryan (Birdman) Williams did not sue Lil Wayne, who is reported to have had a bitter split from Williams, long a father figure to the hip hop star.
The singer and Birdman split late last year after Lil Wayne complained about the company’s refusal to release his latest album and tweeted: “I am a prisoner and so is my creativity.” Birdman was accused in hip hop media of subsequently spilling a drink on Lil Wayne during a performance.
The defendants in the new case are Aspiro and WiMP Music, Euoropean-based companies that were bought by Jay Z earlier this year. WIMP Inc., a Georgia-based firm that operates as Tidal music streaming service, also was sued.
Under the terms of Lil Wayne’s 1998 contract with Cash Money,court papers say, he agreed to “not perform for any persons other than” CMR and “not license, or consent to or permit the use of” his name for “the recording or exploitation of any Record” that has a composition which he recorded under that agreement.
CMR says it also has the exclusive rights to Lil Wayne’s recordings that are released and not released.
The “FWA” album put on Jay Z’s streaming services on July 3 included 16 songs that had not yet been released by CMR. A month before the album was released, Tidal started streaming a Lil Wayne single entitled “Glory” and announced that he was becoming a part owner of Tidal. CMR says that release also violates the artist’s contract.
CMR says the release of the “FWA” album has created confusion in the marketplace about who actually released the album and CMR was hurt because the album was panned.
CMR is demanding $20 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages.