Back in September 2021, The Weeknd’s name was named in a copyright infringement lawsuit in connection with “Call Out My Name” 2018. Now, after about 18 months, the interested parties have agreed.
The “settlement in principle” has recently become known in an official notice, which clearly states that the legal groups at hand “are still in the process of formalizing, executing and completing this settlement.” Of course, neither The Weeknd nor the plaintiffs (musicians Sunil Fox and Henry Strange) seem to have commented publicly on this issue at the time of writing this article.
But the main confrontation in the courtroom began after Fox and Strange wrote and recorded a track called “Vibeking” in 2015, according to the original complaint. The duo also claimed to have sent the song to “DJ and playback engineer” The Weeknd, PNDA (real name Eric White) that same year.
In short, the Weeknd was to direct The Weeknd’s efforts according to a lawsuit by Fox and Strange, who stated that in the past they had “sent other original compositions and sound recordings to THE WEEKND for review through the PNDA.”
According to text messages quoted in the promotion, PNDA indicated that The Weeknd liked “Vibeking”. However, after an 18-month break in the conversation, PNDA allegedly wrote to Strange: “I sent [THE Weeknd] that track that you did some time ago. He listened and liked it. But nothing ever happened.”
Moreover, PNDA then suggested in a follow-up text that he tell The Weeknd “that our production team wrote the track,” according to the complaint. “Cool? Or do you have another idea? I just don’t want to say “Hey, [WEIRD] wrote this” when he doesn’t know you.”
The creator of the plaintiff insisted that The Weeknd really knew who he and Fox were, according to the lawsuit, but negotiations nevertheless did not lead to a “license or agreement authorizing” the use of “Vibeking.”
Strange and Fox registered the work with the Copyright Registration Office (SR0000872910) and eventually released it around April 2017. However, the track doesn’t seem to be streaming on streaming services at the moment.
In any case, Strange and Fox claimed in the original documentation that “Call Out My Name” and “Vibeking” contained “quantitatively and qualitatively similar material in their respective lead guitar and vocal hooks, including melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements.”
“Both works are written in a minor key. Both works are written in the size of 6/8, which is less common in popular music,” Strange and Fox wrote. “Both works are performed at the same tempo. And both works use the features of electronica, ambient, pop, hip-hop, rock and R&B to achieve a special atmospheric and melancholic sound.”
Last month, shortly after “Blinding Lights” became the most popular song on Spotify, The Weeknd became the first artist to reach 100 million monthly listeners on the platform. Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran is still involved in numerous copyright battles, and Kate Richards and Mick Jagger were accused of copyright infringement in the film “Life in a Ghost Town” (2020) about a week ago.