The Canadian hip-hop star Drake (real name Aubrey Drake Graham) is reportedly facing a copyright infringement lawsuit from Playboy Music.
Playboy bosses are claiming that the rapper’s breakthrough 2009 single ‘Best I Ever Had’ illegally samples a Playboy Music-owned song called ‘Fallin’ in Love’, which was recorded by Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds in 1975.
Drake’s track reached number two on the US singles charts last year, and also earned the singer/rapper Grammy nominations. Playboy Enterprises calls this “an enormous commercial success” and is now seeking damages, as well as demanding that the ‘infringing’ works be destroyed.
According to the lawsuit (filed in California on 24th June 2010), Drake, along with his record label Cash Money Records and Universal Music Group:
“…either knew, or should have reasonably known, that the sound recording was protected by copyright.”
With such large companies named in the suit, it is presumed that each party will have professional indemnity insurance in place to cover copyright infringement disputes. As the case may drag on for months, this cover is essential as legal costs may start to mount and compensation payouts (if applicable) may be significant.