Veteran Ghanaian rapper Obrafour has taken legal action against celebrated Canadian rapper Drake, alleging that he sampled his 2003 remix of the hit song ‘Oye Ohene’ without authorization.
The lawsuit pertains to the song ‘Calling My Name’ featured in Drake’s highly-acclaimed album ‘Honestly Nevermind’.
According to reports, Drake had earlier sought permission to use the work, but did not get a response. The Grammy Award winner, went ahead to release the song. Obrafour is thus looking for at least $10 million in damages.
Legal documents filed in a New York court by Obrafour claim that Drake violated his copyright by using his song without obtaining proper authorization.
“Defendants released the Infringing Work on June 17, 2022, despite the fact that an agent of one or more Defendants had previously contacted Obrafour seeking to obtain Obrafour’s permission for the use of the Copyrighted Work in the Infringing Work.”
“Obrafour never granted Defendants permission to use the Copyrighted Work and the Infringing work was released mere days later,” parts of the document read.
The legendary rapper indicated that Drake and other defendants following the release of ‘Calling My Name’ has greatly benefited from his work.
“To date, over the mere 304 days that have elapsed since the Infringing Work was released, the Infringing Work has already been streamed over 4.1 million times on YouTube, streamed over 47,442,160 times on Spotify, and streamed tens of millions of times on Apple Music.”
“In addition to generating enormous sums of global streams and sales across numerous platforms, the Infringing Work has also been exploited by the Defendants via other means, including live performance.”
Among others, Obrafour is seeking damages amounting to no less than $10 million.
He is also seeking an injunction requiring the “defendants and their agents, employees, officers, attorneys, successors, licensees, partners, and assigns, and all persons acting in concert or participation with each or any one of them, to cease directly and indirectly infringing, and causing, enabling, facilitating, encouraging, promoting, inducing, and/or participating in the infringement of any of Obrafour’s rights protected by the Copyright Act.”
Meanwhile, other defendants in the suit include writers, producers, performers, record labels, entertainment companies, publishers, managers, administrators, and/or distributors of the infringing work.