A federal judge in California has ordered Canadian rapper Drake and Reggaeton producer/rapper Wisin to respond to the mega copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the Jamaican producers Steely & Clevie and Count Shelly, DancehallMag has learned.

The God’s Plan rapper, whose full name is Aubrey Drake Graham, and Wisin, whose real name is Juan Luis Morera Luna, are among the 57 primary artists and over 170 defendants (artists, producers, labels) in total, who are named in the lawsuit, which was amended last week.

The court records show that about 140 of the Defendants were served with the complaint, while 14 agreed to waive service before the court-stipulated deadline of April 14.

However, Drake and Wisin were both served with the complaint on April 15 and April 19, respectively.

Drake’s attorneys, Bradley J. Mullins and Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, and Wisin’s attorney, Jean G. Vidal-Font, both opposed Steely & Clevie’s April 20 application for a court order authorising late service of the lawsuit on the two artists, asking the judge to deny the application, which would result in them being dismissed from the lawsuit.

On Monday (April 24), Judge André Birotte Jr. sided with Steely & Clevie and granted the application authorizing late service on Drake and Wisin.

“Wisin and Drake were served and shall answer or otherwise respond to the operative complaint in this action.  It is so ordered,” the judge wrote.


The 1,670 songs at issue in the lawsuit include Drake’s One Dance with Wizkid and Kyla; Mía with Bad Bunny; 69 solo songs by Wisin; and 131 songs by the duo Wisin & Yandel, according to court records obtained by DancehallMag.

It also includes songs with billions of streams including Luis Fonsi’s Despacito Remix with Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee and his Échame La Culpa with Demi Lovato; El Chombo’s Dame Tu Cosita with Cutty Ranks; Daddy Yankee’s Dura; DJ Snake’s Taki Taki with Selena Gomez, Ozuna, Cardi B; Pitbull’s We Are One (Ole Ola); Major Lazer’s Lean On with DJ Snake and MØ, Light It Up with Nyla and Watch Out For This (Bumaye) with Busy Signal; and more.

Steely & Clevie’s complaint alleges that the songs infringed on the Dancehall drum patterns and composition from its 1989 riddim titled Fish Market, which is most well-known for its use in Shabba Ranks‘ 1990 hit Dem Bow. Starting with the Pounder Riddim‘s Ellos Benia, a Spanish language version of Shabba’s Dem Bow, the complaint outlined the trajectory through which nearly all of Reggaeton allegedly appropriated the Fish Market to create the signature sound of the genre.

Jamaican producers Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne, the estate of the late Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson, and the estate of the late Ephraim ‘Count Shelly’ Barrett (producer of Ellos Benia) are also named as Plaintiffs.

The other named Defendants include Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, DJ Snake, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, J Balvin, Pitbull, Anitta, Karol G, Rauw Alejandro, Major Lazer, and Ricky Martin.

Major labels named in the suit include Universal Music Group, Warner Records, and Sony.

Steely & Clevie are seeking an award for “all profits” from the Defendants’ alleged infringement on the 1,670 songs, the exam sum to be proven at the time of trial. They have also requested actual damages, lost profits, statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and interest.

Read the 228-page complaint below.

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