Nicolás Jaar and The Weeknd reach settlement with musicians in copyright infringement case
Two musicians originally sued The Weeknd, Nicolás Jaar and Frank Dukes over track Call Out My Name for Copyright Infringement
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A settlement has been reached among two musicians and The Weeknd, Nicolás Jaar and producer Frank Dukes over the 2018 track, Call Out My Name, which the artists had claimed infringed copyright.
The two musicians, Suniel Fox and Henry Strange, filed a lawsuit in 2021 claiming that the song, from The Weeknd’s My Dear Melancholy EP, is “strikingly and/or substantially similar, if not identical,” to their 2015 track Vibeking.
The BBC reports that The Weeknd previously denied the allegation, but lawyers for Fox and Strange have now said that they have “reached a settlement in principle of this action” in a filing at Los Angeles federal court on Friday 17 March.
Details of the settlement have not been disclosed, but it’s noted that both parties were “still in the process of formalising, executing and consummating” the deal.
The musicians claimed to have evidence that The Weeknd heard their song before writing the track, and that they had sent Vibeking to The Weeknd’s DJ and playback engineer Eric White in 2015. They referenced an alleged email in which The Weeknd said the track is “fire.”
Almost a year later, White purported to have contacted Strange again. “I sent [The Weeknd] that track u made a while ago. He listened and liked it. But nothing ever happened,” his email read.
Shortly afterwards, White allegedly sent another update saying: “Just gonna tell [The Weeknd] that our production team wrote the track. Cool? Or u have another idea? Just don’t wanna say ‘hey, [Strange] wrote this’ when he doesn’t know u.”
Strange allegedly responded to say that The Weeknd had met him “on [the] Drake tour” and “knows him”.
Despite that, the musicians claimed that they were never asked for permission to use or licence their song. As a settlement has been reached and all hearings have been dismissed, The Weeknd did not give a comment on the case.
The song samples Nicolás Jaar’s track Killing Time, which you can listen to below:
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