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Drake vs Pet Shop Boys: A Tale of Two Parties

Drake, the Canadian rap superstar, is facing a lawsuit from the British synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys (pictured) over his song “All the Parties”. The plaintiffs claim that Drake sampled their 1985 hit “West End Girls” without permission and infringed their copyright.

- Based on articles by Kory Grow in Rolling Stone magazine (Oct 6, 2023) and Ashley King in Digital Music News (Oct 8, 2023)

According to Rolling Stone, Drake’s song “All the Parties” was released in July 2023 as part of his album “Certified Lover Boy”. The song features a looped sample of the opening line of “West End Girls”: “Sometimes you’re better off dead / There’s a gun in your hand and it’s pointing at your head”. The sample is distorted and slowed down, but still recognizable.

The Pet Shop Boys, composed of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on October 6, 2023. They allege that Drake did not obtain a license or authorization to use their song, and that his use is not fair use under the law. They seek damages and an injunction to stop Drake from distributing, performing, or profiting from his song.

Digital Music News reports that the Pet Shop Boys are represented by Richard Busch, a prominent music attorney who has won several high-profile cases involving sampling and plagiarism. Busch represented Marvin Gaye’s family in their successful lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over “Blurred Lines”, and also represented Eminem’s publisher in their victory against Spotify over unpaid royalties.

Drake has not yet responded to the lawsuit or commented on the matter publicly. His representatives have also not issued any statement. It is unclear whether Drake was aware of the sample or obtained it from a third-party producer.

The lawsuit raises questions about the boundaries of sampling and creativity in music. How much can an artist borrow from another artist’s work without infringing their rights? How can an artist protect their work from unauthorized use? How can fans enjoy both the original and the derivative works without being confused or misled?

To learn more about this case, visit the original websites below:


Summary by The New Bong AI


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