After bailing from this month’s Future Music Festival, which kicks off this weekend in Brisbane, Frank Ocean may possibly be sued after his use of The Eagles’ track Hotel California on his own track American Wedding, which appeared on his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra.
Obviously some action has been taken, evidenced by the removal of sound on some live YouTube footage of the song. The mixtape also featured Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing. In response to the news, Don Henley’s spokesman released the following;
Frank Ocean did not merely “sample” a portion of the Eagles’ Hotel California; he took the whole master track, plus the song’s existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own. This is not creative, let alone “intimidating.” It’s illegal. For the record, Don Henley has not threatened or instituted any legal action against Frank Ocean, although the Eagles are now considering whether they should. Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to Warner Music Group as it is the entity that currently owns the master recording and made the contact with Frank Ocean’s representatives concerning his infringement of the master recording.