A judge has ordered Drake and 21 Savage to stop using fakes Vogue cover story to promote their new collaborative album, Her Loss.
In a ruling on Wednesday, November 10 (obtained by Notice board), the judge ruled in favor Vogue publisher Condé Nast, issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the two rappers. The judge found that Condé Nast owned “genuine and modest” trademarks for Vogue and its logo and that Drake, 21 Savage, and communications firm Hiltzik Strategies “created and disseminated” false images of Vogue cover, as well as a reproduction of a full issue, without the permission of the magazine.
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“Condé Nast has a likelihood of success on its claims of federal and common law trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition, false endorsement, dilution, [and] false advertising,” the ruling says. The judge also said that Drake and 21’s were faux Vogue “confuses users as to the origin, sponsorship, or endorsement” of the magazine, “misleads users into believing that these are authentic and genuine materials associated with Condé Nast and Vogue.”
A lawyer for Drake and 21 Savage did not immediately return calls Rolling Stonerequest for comment, and neither did Hiltzik Strategies. A lawyer for Condé Nast also did not immediately return a request for comment.
Drake and 21 Savage have been on a tear promoting their collaborative album Her Loss with a series of stunts. The duo forged a Saturday Night Live performance and performed in what appeared to be a gold bar for a fake Colors x Studios promotion. Their initial promotion, though – a doctored Vogue cover – led to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the magazine’s owner Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., also known as Condé Nast.
In the lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, Condé Nast called the duo’s promotional stunt a “deceptive campaign” that was not authorized by the company. The fake Vogue the association included posters and distributed a “fake issue of Vogue” in major cities across North America.
The suit accuses the rappers of deliberately mimicking the programs used by the magazine in its own promotional campaigns to appear authentic and added that the rappers’ social media accounts contained “obviously false statements: ‘Me and my brother on newsstands tomorrow! Thank you @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support at this historic moment. Her Loss November 4th.”
However, according to the complaint, Vogue and her editor-in-chief Wintour “hasn’t been involved with anyone Her Loss or his promotion, and not endorsed in any way. Nor did Condé Nast authorize, much less support, the creation and dissemination of a false issue of Vogueor a fake version of perhaps one of the most carefully curated covers in the entire publishing business in place to promote the Defendants’ new album.”
“The confusion among the public is unmistakable,” the complaint further states, citing several media outlets that picked up the story as real and subsequent user comments believing it to be a real cover.
At the time the lawsuit was filed, Larry Stein, a lawyer for the defendants, declined Rolling StoneA request for comment on Tuesday has not yet reviewed the complaint. Hiltzik Strategies LLC, also named as a defendant in the suit alongside Drake and 21 Savage, declined to Rolling Stonerequest for comment.
Condé Nast is seeking at least $4 million in damages. It is seeking further punitive damages alongside an end to any trademark infringement.
This story was updated 11/10/22 at 12:58 pm ET with the judge’s ruling.
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