Recently Obrafour, a Ghanaian Hip Hop legend, has made headlines for filing a lawsuit against Drake, a Canadian award-winning rapper for sampling his song ‘Oye Ohene’ without permission.
It all happened in April 2022 when Drake released the album ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ and on the sixth track of the album ‘Calling My Name’, he sampled the 2003 remix of Obrafour’s ‘Oye Ohene’.
The court documents read; “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”.
When this news surfaced, many people were surprised to know that Drake had sampled a Ghanaian artiste’s song for his album and yet, had never sought Obrafour’s permission. This can be seen as a clear breach of copyright laws as the song was not only used without permission but it resulted in huge financial gains for Drake and other defendants as well.
“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,” the document added.
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.”