Fan sues Kanye West and Tidal streaming service over The Life of Pablo release

Kanye West

A fan is suing Kanye West and Tidal over the release of the rapper's latest album, The Life of Pablo.

Justin Baker-Rhett claims he was tricked into signing up to the streaming service because it was the only way to buy Kanye West's new album.

He says he only subscribed to Tidal after the rapper said The Life of Pablo wouldn't be sold anywhere else.

But he says the exclusivity promise was just a fraudulent ploy to add millions of subscribers to a struggling Tidal.

Kanye West and Jay Z

Kanye West released the album just over a month later on Apple Music, Spotify and on his own website.

Baker-Rhett said the scheme tripled Tidal's subscriber base to three million, boosted its value by $60m (£42m) to $84m (£58m) and threatened fans' privacy by forcing them to turn over credit card and other personal information.

"You can't trick people into paying money and giving up personal information just because the company is struggling," said lawyer Jay Edelson in a phone interview with Reuters.

The Life of Pablo was streamed more than 250 million times within 10 days of release, the court case says.

Kanye West's tweet, included in the complaint, said: "My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale... You can only get it on Tidal."

Jay Z took control of Tidal in March 2015 for around $56m (£39m).

Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Deadmau5 and Kanye West
Image caption Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Deadmau5 and Kanye West all attended the Tidal relaunch last March

According to media reports, one of his businesses threatened to sue Tidal's former owners last month for inflating subscriber numbers, suggesting the price tag may have been too high.

Tidal calls itself an "artist-owned" service and is backed by Kanye West, Beyonce, Deadmau5, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Chris Martin, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Jack White and others.

Justin Baker-Rhett is also trying to make the case a class action, which is where other people who claim they're in the same position come forward to take part in the legal action.

The San Francisco resident is trying to get people to come forward who subscribed to Tidal between 15 February and 1 April and streamed tracks from The Life of Pablo within 24 hours.

The court case is also calling for damages and the deletion of subscribers' personal data.

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