Industry Solutions
Business Insurance

Drake and Michael Jackson Controversy

 

Drake’s new double-album “Scorpion”, released on June 29th, amassed over one million album equivalent units, promptly earning their platinum distinction the same day as its release. Apple Music had 170 million streams and the album also broke Spotify’s opening day global record, with over 130 million total streams on June 29th.

“Scorpion” features 25 tracks and includes a previously unreleased vocal by the late King of Pop himself Michael Jackson, who passed away in 2009. On May 10th2018, Paul Anka teased the world by announcing his upcoming partnership with the artist. “I’m working with a brilliant young artist who is as hot as you can get right now, a fellow young Canadian and his name is Drake, we recorded something that will be released, out in June. That’s all I can tell you.” *(Shoemaker, n.d.)

 

There is one song in from this double album which immediately divided public opinion. The track that everyone is buzzing about is called “Don’t Matter to Me.” The song is an unreleased Michael Jackson track that was recorded before his death and never released. Drake reworked the previously unheard track for his album “Scorpion”, adding in his own vocals and turning it into a posthumous duet.

The reaction to the song following the release of the album has been controversial to say the least. It’s not all doom and gloom, there was also a lot of love for the song. Some fans have been claiming that Jacksons vocals are “fake”, or that it was sung by The Weeknd. Others questioning why Jackson’s estate would even allow Drake to take ownership of the song or how he even got ownership to begin with.

It’s a terrific reminder of the importance of copyrights and patents when running a business.  One of these often forgotten but extremely important steps is to copyright and trademark anything in your business that could potentially be taken and used by other parties. Whether it be the name of your business; logo; products; phrases or mottos; articles; etc.

The most important reason to copyright any aspect of your business is that if it isn’t copyrighted, other businesses or individuals can legally take it and use it. This means that any hard work you put into designing a logo, writing an article, marketing yourself in any way could easily be stolen by another party and used without repercussions. The only way to legally protect your business is to copyright everything.

In the music world copyrights give people involved in creating music various rights over the copying, distribution, performance and internet transmission of their music. This includes protection for the artists involved, composers, publishers, and producers. The rules vary slightly from country to country, and some countries allow limited copying and performance that is truly “private”.  (South, 2017)

Uploading music to the internet however and other indiscriminate copying and dissemination of music files, is an infringement of copyright if done without the rights owners’ permission.

*In an interview, Paul Anka, who co-wrote the lyrics with the late Michael Jackson, confirms that the legal sign off with Drake is in the final stages. (Anka, 2018) Michael Jackson’s estate also confirmed the song was officially licensed. (Team, 2018)