Ghanaian Hip Hop legend, Michael Elliot Darko aka Obrafour has dragged award-winning Canadian rapper Drake to court for sampling his song without permission.
In 2022, Drake released the album ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ and on the 6th track, ‘Calling My Name’, he sampled the 2003 remix of Obrafour’s ‘Oye Ohene’.
The Ghanaian artiste is suing him in a New York court, saying Drake infringed on his copyright when he sampled his song without seeking his approval.
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”.
According to Obrafour, the ‘Hotline Bling’ hitmaker and other defendants in the suit have greatly benefited from the proceeds of the song since its release.
The Ghanaian musician is therefore seeking $10,000,000 (Ten Million Dollars) in damages among others.
“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.”