“Hotel California” Evicts Frank Ocean

Looks like the the Eagles are trying to clip Frank Ocean’s wings. Apparently, the legendary band are threatening to sue Frankie for his rendition of their track “Hotel California”. On Nostalgia, Ultra he flips the song into “American Wedding”. Frank turned to his tumblr page and reacted to the pending lawsuit.

Don henley(’s label—Rhino) is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California..

He (They) threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome. I guess if I play it at coachella it’ll cost me a couple hundred racks. If I don’t show up to court, it’ll be a judgement against me & will probably show up on my credit report. Oh well. I try to buy my shit cash anyway. They also asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr. Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible. Shit’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy? I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.

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66 Comments
  • herohiro

    Fuck what ya hurd

  • Kareem

    Does that Don Henley nigga know that the track was off a mixtape? And he ain’t make a dime off it?

  • Kareem

    I don’t understand how he can sue Frank…unless the nigga didn’t clear a sample that he put on retail. The track was up for free. Do he even got a case???

  • Andy

    Kareem, he’s performing it at shows and making a ton off of it.

  • Kareem

    @Andy
    I don’t think that niggas are buying tickets soley to hear “American Wedding”, though.

  • ZoomZoomDad-Otis

    Kareem is the ghetto RR lawyer.

  • Edwin

    They grimey as fuck

  • rectal air freshener

    the nigga kareem can represent me in prostitute court any day

  • http://www.joshestes.com yesssir

    It doesn’t matter if they’re buying the tickets to hear American Wedding or not.
    He’s making money from his shows, and his sets include American Wedding.

    I don’t think Frank needs to write a letter about his adoration for the Eagles, or do anything like that. But he does have to get the sample cleared…that’s how it works.

    Not sure how anyone can argue that…

  • Acapella

    Ummm, Frank’s right. An artist can’t sue anutha artist for some shit off a mixtape that’s up for free. Now, if Frank was making a profit off THAT song in particular, then yeah, but as for now, Mr. Henley needs to catch up with the times…shit, he’s lucky someone of our generation respects his music and put it out there for other ppl of our age group to listen to.

  • Kareem

    HE’S NOT SELLING THE FUCKING SONG. THERE’S NO SAMPLE THAT NEEDS TO BE CLEARED. THE SONG IT’S NOT FOR SALE. NIGGAS PAYING TICKETS TO SEE FRANK OCEAN SING. They are paying for live vocal performance. niggas ain’t packing these venues to watch a laptop stream Nostalgia, Ultra. nah….they coming to see that nigga Frank sing. And that nigga can cover whatever he wants and not have to do anything. That nigga can throw on a Stevie Wonder song and sing whatever lyrics he wants on it and do that shit at ever show live and it’s not gonna matter.

  • Andy

    The problem is that Frank took the *whole* song and just gave it new words. Same melodies, same music. Just new words. And makes money by performing it at shows. You can’t do that.

    Frank needs to get the sample cleared like every other artist who’s ever used a sample has had to do. What makes him so special

  • Kareem

    So, if so-and-so rapper throws on the all about the benjamins beat at a live show….and starts freestyling it….and this nigga does it at every show….niggas gotta cut Puff a check? what?

  • http://www.joshestes.com yesssir

    @Kareem

    Damn, this shit really got to you, huh?

  • Kareem

    the answer is no.

  • Kareem

    @yessir

    yeah. smh.

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  • http://www.joshestes.com yesssir

    Kareem is actually right.

    It is still paid for, and what not – but it doesn’t necessarily have to come from the artist.

    “You are using the sample in live shows. This is because, usually, you are not making copies and the owner of the venue pays the blanket license fees to performing rights organizations such as Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) or American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).”

    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/permission-sampled-music-sample-clearance-30165.html

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  • Protectah X

    Crackas are always mad when Black person sample their shit.

  • http://dayandadream.com Brando

    Lost in all of this, a great headline from B Dot.

  • Tucq

    @Kareem and Acapella

    I hear what you’re sayin Homie, but he actually CAN’T perform any song he wants live without paying a fee. There is such a thing as performance fees when playing a song in public. They have clauses like that even with movies.

    Frank might get away with it once or twice, but now that he’s fuckin with Kanye and Jay Z, whatever he does will get more attention.

    Even though Don Henley is rich as fuck, dude is just protecting his creation. Frank is the new cat in town, and he’s not on that level yet. The Eagles, when they do concerts, those old muhfuckus fill up STADIUMS. Their tours gross 100million, so they don’t fuck around.

    Don Henley has lawyers on deck, and other people who serve his interests. Sometimes those employees act on things even without his knowledge.

  • http://www.1073wkcr.com TRACK KING COLE

    I dont think you young brothers understand, this isnt about money. The Eagles have sold just as many records as Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Elvis, and the Bee Gee’s. (Look It Up)

    This is about principles. You cant just use someone’s music and melodies that they developed and decide your gonna perform it at lives shows where tickets are being sold in your name. Regardless of how you guys feel about Don Henley its his work of art, and Frank Ocean is using it with out written concent, plus making a profit from it every time he performs it at a show.

    I value Frank Oceans music and talent just like the next man, but you can not do things like that and think that is ok to do. BOTTOM LINE ITS BORDER LINE STEALING…..

  • Dre

    Technically the two are not related. Copyright only extends to things being sold as retail. If it were not then you could get sued for singing your favorite song off the radio in your house. Or, performers would get sued for covering songs at concerts.

  • http://www.excusemyadlib.com excusemyadlib

    Pretty sure if somebody did that to Frank, he wouldn’t like it. Its about principle like this nigga just said.

    Therm

  • Jungle

    Guess Frank forgot industry rule 4080

  • poetic assasin

    If you guys were artists y’all would understand

  • JustMyOpinion

    Imagine, ALL these comments and not ONE person, including B.Dot, mentioned the word: copyright.

    That say it all. One word explains the entire ordeal. Whether, it’s a rendition OR not.

  • http://youtube.com/eniyi04 Niyemortal

    A lot of yall need to brush up on copyright laws.

    “But the song was on a mixtape”: if it was left at that, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, but he performs the song at shows that he gets PAID for. You have to get clearance for that.

    “People don’t get sued for covers”: true but when you change the words or melodies in any way, its no longer a cover and once again, if you don’t get clearance, it constitutes theft.

    “Henley’s just hating.”: sell as many albums as they have and let me know how you feel when this sort of case happens to you.

    I thought Frank was the smart one of the group. He should be on top of his legal shit.

  • Your daddy

    yes he has a case if he’s performing the song… its copywrited material you have to get permission

  • B.Dot

    ^
    Makes a strong point

  • colin

    lol that shut karem up.

  • Your daddy

    You would think artist knew copyright laws!…They make music for a living and pay people to know this stuff!

  • http://www.joshestes.com yesssir

    And Niyemortal with the knockout.

  • kareem

    fuck don henley.

  • petey tree

    No he doesn’t need to clear the sample because it was off a free mixtape he hasn’t made money off of it. He can perform it at his show all he wants and call it a cover (tons of artists do cover songs at their shows). Eagles have no case they’re just bitter and want to get paid of it instead of acknowledging that American Wedding was just a dope ass song/tribute

  • Jaymalls

    @Niyemortal Cosign
    Most of these young trolls never copyrighted anything in their life… they couldn’t tell you what state the copyright office is in with out google.
    One thing to add on… even if you dont change the melody or words, in some cases you still can get sued. i remember Ne-Yo putting that clause in his contracts for songs he write for other artist… that he can perform them in his live set without paying any fees.

  • kareem

    @jamymalls

    i mean…he’s signed to Def Jam…i’m sure they can handle it for him. they got a legal department.

  • Cracksoup

    If you think he’s not makin dimes on that song you’re wrong. If you think the Beach Boys don’t have a say in the reproduction, you’re wrong. If you think Don Henley ain’t a bitch for wanting more quap, you’re wrong. He’s a bitch and Frank O get’s paid offa all dat.

  • Ballin’

    Are you fucking kidding me? People are actually buying the ‘he makes money off the song’ argument?

    So, are you telling me that if a rapper raps on another person’s beat (YOU KNOW, LIKE ALL RAPPERS DO) performs it at a show and cakes off that show, he can get SUED??

    If so, the copyright laws are pretty fucking outdated.

  • http://youtube.com/eniyi04 Niyemortal

    @ballin

    In the case of rappers rapping off of other peoples’ beats at shows: if its a paid show, generally a lot of it gets swept under the rug if you do like a quick verse and leave it at that as so many artists do. However, if you go and perform that freestyle with the beat at EVERY show, then obviously you’re trying to profit from it and copyright holders will shut you down asap.

    I perform here and there and I’ve been served with notices before.

  • ???

    *shrug* kinda late now like a year late but whatever I like the original and the Frank Ocean version but what I don’t like is trying to get him to kiss up to Don Henley like a little bitch

    “They also asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr. Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible.”

    Good luck with the latter lol pulling it off the web yeah ok seriously the music industry are assholes

  • http://youtube.com/eniyi04 Niyemortal

    I’ll give you guys a current example: Flo Rida’s song “Good Feeling”

    That song isn’t only a rendition of Avicii’s “Levels”, but also another song that was before it. Do you really think that he would have been able to benefit from that song if he didn’t get the clearances?

  • IceMan

    FUCK DON HENLEY

  • Black Shady

    Cant wait to see the outcome of this.

  • Word

    But, Frank been performing this shit for like a year now. Why is he just catching on to it?

    Either way, Frank is wrong in this as so many other ppl have stated already.

  • http://youtube.com/eniyi04 Niyemortal

    @Word

    legal work can take some time

  • Your Life Is a Lie

    Performing an exact version of an existing copyrighted song – No clearance needed
    Performing an existing copyrighted song with your own ‘twist to it’ – clearance needed

  • Jkp4ck

    He is stealing the song not the lyrics but the instrumental. And yes technically if rappers freestyle over a beat they can get sued but generally no one cares cause its typically just 30 seconds and a one time thing but he made it a song, free or not, and performs it at shows so he needs a liscense It’s rediculous that they want him to write a letter of admiration as well as get the rights but still frank needs the rights to perform it at the very least. same reason FREE YouTube videos get taken down all the time. Liscensing agreements. Gotta get them.

  • Koma

    Smh

    He’ll probably have to stop performing it at shows, but they can’t make him take it down from the Internet, because a) he can’t and b) he isn’t making money off the tape.

    I dont even have to mention how ludicrous it is that they want him to write about how much he loves the eagles lmao.

    Don Henley just jealous frank wrote a better rendition of his best song and gave it away for free.

  • IM730

    @yourlifeisalie….nope your wrong. Shows like the voice and American Idol have to get clearance for the contestants to perform any of the songs they do. The laws are all over the place with what you can do with peoples songs and whether its televised or live all affect the outcome. To me, from what i know about lawsuits this one aint gonna fly. You can cover someones song, your lyrics or theirs not on retail/itunes/amazon/bandcamp or any other outlet but you can do it live. This is from someone who was signed to a indie label in 2008 Rushmore Records and recorded a cover song for a compilation and had lawyers tell us the game plan. This one aint gonna work. But if they changed this since 08 i could be wrong about the second half.

  • IMG_001

    He should just do an acapella version at shows.

  • Shooga

    That is just fucked up… Fuck Don Henley and his label

  • Shooga

    I dont give a fuck what yall saying, Kareem is that nigga :)

  • Joe Nasty

    ACTUALLY
    according to copyright law, it is illegal to release something that has an uncleared sample if you are not the copyright holder (even if it is for free)

    but most people don’t give a shit. maybe he’s low on cash or something.

  • Foekist

    lol @ intimidated by my rendition… Negro please!

  • Bong

    The Eagles don’t fuck around…they never clear anything so this shouldn’t be news to Frank. He’s actually mentioned this being an issue in interviews

  • MegaMind

    So many men-tards in these threads. I feel sorry for the next generation because some of y’all are really not that bright…and when you don’t understand something, you lash out “fk Don Henley, etc” instead of trying to educate yourselves on the issue, Frank Ocean included.

    First off as an insider…this is really only an issue bc FO profile is growing…if it was one of you bum ass rapper performing in your basement or local hood spot no one would care. However FO is in the wrong bc he’s directly benefitting from a cover song that he never received copyright clearance for.
    FO’s management team dropped the ball, they should have been proactively working to have this attended to. The Eagles/Don Henley aren’t no fkboys…this isn’t MC Rudypoo…this is a band that has sold over 100M records AND FO just so happen to jack one of their most popular songs (this is a lot of folklore about Hotel California…they say its about Hell)….
    In closing, FO team fkd up and he looks foolish trying to clown on a cat that he STOLE from.
    That’s like going to the bank taking money, then being mad that the bank caught you LOL
    I swear you young’n are fkng dumb lolol…but ppl are ALWAYS mad when their hands are caught in the cookie jar..

  • http://www.akaHipHop.com akaHipHop.com

    Frank Ocean is one of the up and coming artists and song writers as of late. Don Henley should take a minute to listen to his music and he would probably chill out… or maybe he just doesn’t like Tyler The Creator lol…. Nice Post RR. Props.

    MY BLOG: http://www.akahiphop.com

  • Cemal

    Well if the eagles have a case, then frank will probably get sued by coldplay and mgmt and shit too then? Maaaaaaan, fuck the law. It has never made sense anyway

  • http://youtube.com/eniyi04 Niyemortal

    @Megamind

    You hit the nail on the head!

  • Berklee

    ur version sux. that’s like trying to flip stairway to heaven n making it your own. child.

  • Berklee

    n dude is not all that. it’s just that we only have shit to compare him to.

  • ds

    also kush and orange juice are full of samples that never got cleared, and he making millions via shows performing the records..

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/striderkc Strider

    To a degree, I can understand Henley being upset about Frank remixing Hotel at his shows and using similar melodies, the same instrumental, etc. However, if he’s making such a fuss about it, what about all of the DJ’s that spin other people’s music and get PAID to do so? There are people spinning multiple hip hop classics at shows, yet we don’t hear about them getting threatened for doing so. It seems to me that if you are making money by DJing OR playing a remix of a person’s songs, the request for royalties should go both ways.

  • Doug

    Looks like Frank “narcissistic personality disorder” Ocean better sue the Eagles for stealing his song and then probably sue Jethro Tull while he is at it. The Eagles were always working for God’s gift to mankind Frank Ocean but just never knew it. Worst song ever by the most narcissistic person that I have ever seen in my life. Wow this entitled jerk really has a serious problem with crossing the line.