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Two musicians who brought copyright proceedings over the hit song No Guidance have dropped their case against Drake – but not his co-artist Chris Brown.

Brandon Cooper and Timothy Valentine, who use the stage names Mr Cooper and Drum’n Skillz, commenced the copyright action in October 2021.  Cooper and Valentine claimed that Brown and Drake copied or principally derived their Billboard Hot 100 song No Guidance from Cooper and Valentine’s 2019 song I Love Your Dress.  They allege that expert evidence from a musicologist showed that the works share a ‘high degree of combined similar features’.

In response, Brown and Drake argued that Cooper and Valentine’s song was ‘obscure’ and denied they knew it existed prior to writing No Guidance.  They suggested elements such as the lyrics ‘you got it’ were commonplace.  In March, Drake and Brown filed a further document rejecting the ‘purely conjectural and speculative’ suggestion that Brown and Drake may have obtained the song via music executive Mic Tee and rapper Birdman.

No explanation has been reported for Cooper and Valentine’s decision to drop the case against Drake but not Brown.

Claims against high-profile musicians for breach of copyright have become increasingly common, with actions recently being brought against musicians like Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd and Post Malone.  After winning his copyright battle over the song Shape of You earlier this year, Sheeran told BBC Newsnight that he regretted settling a similar case over his song Photograph.  A key finding in the Sheeran decision was the compelling evidence that Oh Why had not been the source of Sheeran’s inspiration.  If the claim against Brown proceeds to trial, he may choose to run a similar argument.

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