Ghanaian musician Michael Elliot Kwabena Okyere Darko better known as Obrafour has filed a lawsuit at the Southern District court, New York on the Tuesday,18th April, 2023, against Canadian rapper Drake, for copyright infringement.
According to Obrafour’s Lawyer Imran Ansari, Drake had earlier sought permission to use Obrafour’s song ‘Oye ohene’ which was denied but the rapper went ahead with the sampling, adding that the Ghanaian musician is the lawful owner of the copyright both in Ghana and in the United States, making Drake’s use of the song unlawful.
“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”.
In the lawsuit, Obrafour is asking the court a number of payments, including payment of damages not less than $10,000,000, a permanent injunction that would require the defendants to cease all direct and indirect infringement of his rights and also asking for damages, including profits from record sales, downloads, ringtones, public performance revenues, digital revenue, streaming revenue and merchandising.
According to reports, Obrafour says he 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.
Drakes reps have however, not responded to the lawsuit.
Story: Hilda Katu
Media: @iamobrafour/Instagram, @drakeofificial/Instagram