Legal and Management

Damon Dash Accuses Jay-Z of Illicitly Transferring Streaming Rights to Debut Album

Jay z
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Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter attends Criminal Justice Reform Organization Launch at Gerald W. Lynch Theater on Jan. 23, 2019 in New York City.

The Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder files a new suit in New York over who has been licensing the music to Spotify, Apple and other streamers.

The legal feud at Roc-A-Fella Records keeps escalating. The latest salvo has co-founder Damon Dash accusing the label’s other co-founder, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, of wrongfully taking streaming rights to Reasonable Doubt for himself.

Reasonable Doubt, initially released in 1996, was Jay-Z’s debut album. For the past month, Dash and Carter have been locked in a battle over a proposed auction of an NFT (non-fungible token). According to Carter’s side, Dash wanted to sell off the copyright to the album. A judge put a stop to that. But according to Dash’s side, all that’s planned is a sale of his one-third share in Roc-A-Fella Records. What’s more, Dash is upset at moves made by Roc-A-Fella. He’s looking to disqualify its lawyers at Quinn Emanuel from representation and is challenging its authority to bring suit against him.

Now comes something new, courtesy of a summons filed Tuesday night in New York Supreme Court.

According to the brief legal papers, Carter has transferred streaming rights to Reasonable Doubt without authorization from Roc-A-Fella to S. Carter Enterprises LLC. Although there’s little detail in this court filing (a longer complaint will likely come at a later point), it appears as though Dash is objecting to the entity actually licensing Spotify, Apple, etc.

Dash is claiming unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, replevin and conversion. He’s seeking at least $1 million in damages.

Alex Spiro, an attorney for Carter, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

This story was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.