Ghanaian Singer Obrafour Is Suing Drake For Copyright Infringement
Obrafour, a Ghanaian artist, is suing Canadian rapper Drake for unauthorized usage of his song.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
Sampling is a prevalent idea in music, where creators take inspiration from other people’s works to improve their own work. One must get permission in order to properly borrow, and doing so constitutes a copyright violation.
Obrafour, a rapper from Ghana, is suing Drake because Drake sampled his song without getting his consent. On his 2022 album “Honestly, Nevermind,” Drake sampled Obrafour’s “Oye Ohene” remix in the song “Calling My Name.”
The Ghanaian lore claims that Drake requested permission in the past, which was refused, but the rapper nonetheless went ahead with the sample.
The prevalence of copyright infringement in the music industry is rising as digitization makes it simpler for musicians to identify similarities.
Puff Diddy just made it clear that he pays Sting $2,000 each day for using an unauthorized sample of his song “Every Breath You Take” on his smash single “Missing You” homage to Notorious BIG.
The court ordered Robin Thicke and Pharell William to pay Marvin Gaye’s estate up to $5 million as restitution for using his song “Got to Give It Up” as the basis for their smash hit “Blurred Lines.”
Copyright infringement has also occurred in Nigeria, with Danny Young suing Tiwa Savage for stealing lyrics from his song “Oju Ti Ti Won.”
While the single also filed a separate lawsuit against Tempoe and Joeboy for copyright breach, Tempoe recently sued Asa and P.Prime for copyright infringement.
Should he succeed in persuading the court, Obrafour may receive a sizable payout from the mouthwatering settlement that results from copyright violation.
Imran Ansari, an attorney for Obrafour, commented on the situation and asserted that Drake was not authorized to perform the song since Obrafour is the rightful owner of the copyright in both Ghana and the United States.
“In 2003, Obrafour, an acclaimed music artist from Ghana, released a popular song called “Oye Ohene (Remix).” Not only is he proud of the creative work that went into his song, but he is also the lawful owner of the copyright behind it, both in Ghana, and here in the United States. Unfortunately, this ownership was not respected by the internationally known music artist Drake, who sampled it directly in one of his recent hits, “Calling My Name.” Drake did so without getting permission from Obrafour to use the song, without giving any credit to Obrafour, and without compensating Obrafour for its use. In fact, mere days before Drake released “Calling My Name,” he tried to secure the rights to use the sample. But rather than waiting to make sure Obrafour gave permission, which Obrafour did not, Drake released the song regardless. Obrafour now seeks the respect, recognition, and compensation he deserves for use of his creative work. He also hopes to send a message to mainstream international artists that you cannot simply take from an artist who may be lesser known, or in another country, without giving credit where credit is due.”
Obrafour provided the court with 4 evidence in the Souther district of New York case he filed to demonstrate his legitimate ownership of the music. The Ghanaian requested many things from the court, including the payment of damages of at least $10,000,000.
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