Drake’s “One Dance” Added To Steely & Clevie’s Reggaeton Lawsuit
Drake found himself in the middle of Jamaican duo Steely & Clevie’s ongoing lawsuit over “Fish Market” sample against several Reggaeton artists
Drake’s mega-hit “One Dance” was added to the ongoing Steely & Clevie’s Fish Market copyright lawsuit. The Jamaican duo Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson and Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne says one of Drizzy’s biggest hits infringed on their copyright work.
Drake and dozens of artists, including Justin Bieber, Stefflon Don, Luis Fonsi, Pitbull, Karol G, Rosalia, and many others, along with dozens of record labels and distribution companies, have been named in a sprawling lawsuit for copyright infringement by two Jamaican producers.
The plaintiffs, Steely & Clevie Productions, filed an amended claim in a California court this week, naming Drake and dozens of additional defendants in the ongoing lawsuit for copyright infringement and vicarious and/or contributory copyright infringement.
The lawsuit concerns the 1989 work referred to as ‘Fish Market’ composition and sound recording, the Dem Bow composition, and the Pounder sound recording, which it claims were copied by the artists named in the lawsuit in violation of the ownership and/or exclusive rights in the aforementioned compositions and sound recordings by Cleveland Browne and the beneficiaries of the estates of the other producers.
In legal documents obtained by Urban Islandz, Drake’s song “One Dance” is listed as an infringing work in the 228-page lawsuit, which alleges that the song copies the exact drum pattern of the Fish Market riddim. He and his label, OVO Sound LLC, are named as defendants.
“Drake and a plurality of the defendants, the corresponding defendants for each song named therein, have released the song entitled One Dance. One Dance (the “Drake Work”) was released after the 1989 release of Fish Market… incorporates an unauthorized sample of the Fish Market recording and a verbatim copy of the Fish Market composition as the primary rhythm/drum section of each work,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit continued, “A comparison of Fish Market and the Drake Work establishes that the Drake Work incorporates both qualitatively and quantitatively significant sections of the Fish Market recording and composition.”
Drake nor his label have not reacted to the lawsuit publicly, but the Plaintiffs said that they have made an ex parte motion in regards to Service on the artist and his company.
“One Dance” was released in 2016 featuring Wizkid and Kyla Reid and is one of Drake’s biggest commercial hits.
Shortly after the song’s release, it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart and spent 13 weeks unbroken on the chart while selling 1,000,000 units in its first week of release. It continues to be one of the most-streamed songs for the Canadian artist. A few months after its release, the song became the first in Spotify history to reach 1 billion streams. Up to 2022, the song was certified 6X or more platinum in the UK, U.S. and Canada.
Up to January 2023, the song had also surpassed 2.5 billion streams on Spotify and is among the top 7 songs on the platform to reach such a milestone and is regarded as one of his career-defining songs.
Stefflon Don was also named in the landmark Reggaeton lawsuit
In the meantime, the lawsuit included an appendix of artists like Stefflon Don and many Reggaeton artists like Enrique Iglesias, Bad Bunny, Pitbull, Becky G, Luis Fonsi, Justin Bieber, and others and their songs, as well as producers and music distributors like UMG, Warner, Sony etc., which it said created and exploited works that infringed the Fish Market, Dem Bow and/or Pounder works.
Stefflon Don is named in the Luis Fonsi track “Calypso,” released in 2018, where the plaintiffs allege that the song infringed their copyrights.
The plaintiffs have not specified the amount of damages they are looking for. Still, the lawsuit says that the defendants “have garnered millions (and, for some, billions) of plays and streams, respectively, and resulted in significant revenue and profits to the Defendants, and each of them.”
The plaintiffs want a jury trial and want a “disgorgement of Defendants’ profits directly and indirectly attributable to Defendants’ infringements.”
If the plaintiffs win the lawsuit, it would set a record for the Jamaican production duo who will become pioneers or Godfathers of the Reggaeton genre.
None of the Reggaeton defendants has reacted to the lawsuit.