The project sold an impressive 404,000 album-equivalent units in its first week of released and has already sold over 500,000 copies in the United States. As of the time of this publication, Her Loss was on pace to sell 170K copies in the second week of release in the US. The first-week numbers put Drake and 21 Savage in hip hop history as the biggest debut for a joint album ever.
The success of Her Loss came with much controversy, either by design or unintended. Almost immediately after the project hit streaming services, fans began dissecting the lyrics and quickly noticed that Drake took some shots at some of his peers, including Kanye West, Megan Thee Stallion, Ice Spice, and even Serena Williams’ husband Alex Ohanian. Then came the Vogue lawsuit over the fake magazine cover, possibly as a PR stunt to drum up excitement around the release.
Vogue was successful in being granted a temporary injunction against rappers Drake and 21 Savage, who have been sued by the prestigious publication for using its name on a fake magazine promotion for their album ‘Her Loss.’
The rappers were ordered to desist from using the likeness of Vogue as well as its editor, Anna Wintour, in any promotion. Condé Nast, which owns Vogue, sued the rappers earlier this week for damages of $4 million for copyright infringement.
In a ruling on Wednesday, federal judge Jed S. Rakoff issued the temporary injunction after finding that Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, and 21 Savage, born Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, and their PR company Hiltzik Strategies LLC, had used registered trademarks owned by Condé Nast.
The publication had satisfied the court that it not only had standing but that it owned the trademark for Vogue, which was “valid and incontestable,” and that Drake and 21 Savage by using the marks, had infringed the company’s marks.
“Condé Nast has a likelihood of success on its claims for federal and common law trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition, false endorsement, dilution, [and] false advertising,” the judge said.
The ruling also agreed that the posts by Drake and 21 had amounted to infringement as they confused “consumers about the origin, sponsorship, or approval” of the album by Vogue and misled fans to think that the fake magazine cover was real and endorsed by Vogue or Condé Nast.
A temporary injunction is usually granted where a party satisfies the required legal burdens, that it has a legal interest that has been infringed, and that if a party is not restrained, their continued action may result in further damage.
In this case, Justice Rakoff not only noted that Conde Nast had a “likelihood of success” but that its brand was “irreparably harmed” by the actions of the two rappers.
The judge will have to determine if a permanent injunction will be granted and if Vogue will be granted the damages it is seeking.
In the meantime, Drake and 21 are represented by attorney Larry Stein. The lawyer has not responded to the latest ruling by the court. However, both Drake and 21 have removed the posts teasing the Vogue magazine, which featured them on the front page.