Tidal Claims Progress in Prince’s Probate

From the Desk of Lauran L. Stevenson

Tidal Claims Progress in Prince’s Probate

As discussed in a prior post, Roc Nation claims to have several “written and oral” agreements that include the rights for Roc Nation to exclusively stream Prince’s entire catalog on the Tidal Service. Roc Nation has a contract for a four-album deal but argues that Prince had granted Tidal streaming rights to his entire catalog, though copies of such agreements were never produced, according to Judge Eide.

Bremer Trust, the temporary administrator of Prince’s estate, refused to acknowledge Roc Nation’s claim, saying the company hadn’t followed proper probate procedures. Roc Nation challenged Bremer’s decision. Roc Nation demanded the right to scrutinize any licensing agreements for Prince’s music that the estate had negotiated, reasoning that Tidal had exclusive streaming rights that might be jeopardized by these contracts.

Judge Eide refused to allow Roc Nation to examine any confidential business agreements the estate had entered into regarding Prince’s music, but said the four-album deal gave it a claim against the estate, though he made no ruling on the merits of that claim.

“While these are not traditional claims against an estate, as all parties are aware, little about this matter is traditional,” the judge said.