Don Henley Threatens to Sue Frank Ocean and Six Other Ridiculous Musical Lawsuits

Categories: Useless Lists
Frank Ocean v. Don Henley ... Ridiculous.
Underground R&B sensation and Odd Future fellow Frank Ocean is catching some static from the Eagles' Don Henley.

The singer isn't feeling Ocean's "American Wedding," which samples the old classic "Hotel California." Henley threatened to sue Ocean if he performs it again, and now the performance videos on YouTube are muted.

This sort of thing pisses us off. Why punish an up-and-coming artist for revitalizing your music? Especially when your band's Greatest Hits collection is one of the best-selling records of all time. That's just selfish.

But shitty music suits are nothing new. Check these six completely ridiculous musical disputes.

Joe Francis v. Madonna Madonna's dropped another crappy single, called "Girl Gone Wild," from her upcoming album MDNA, and it's already coming under fire. But not just because it sucks. Joe Francis, the man behind the sort-of-porn franchise with a very similar name thinks Madonna owes him.

In this instance, Francis should just keep his cool and take the publicity. After all, he's been sued himself for much more serious charges. Like, getting his leading ladies mega-drunk and using footage of their boobies without consent.

And honestly, if anyone sues Madonna for this turd it should be Deadmau5. The opening melody is a clear rip-off of "Some Chords."

Rosa Parks v. Outkast
Back in 1999, Southern funkadelic heroes Outkast were getting their first taste of mainstream fame. But celebrations were cut short when old-school freedom fighter Rosa Parks filed suit over their '98 single titled "Rosa Parks."

Even though the song totally rules and has basically nothing to do with her stand against institutionalized racism, the black icon felt it was a misappropriation of her likeness. We think she should have appreciated the shout-out and hushed that fuss.

Red Hot Chili Peppers v. Showtime
In another instance of musicians not appreciating free publicity, RHCP took cable TV network Showtime to court over its hit show Californication. Lead singer Anthony Kiedis felt they ripped off the title from what he considers the band's "signature CD."

While it is a pretty awesome album, it's also a fabulous show. And considering the sexy and scandalous plot, there's really no better name they could use. Just accept the fact, Tony, that every fan of this show will be forced to think of your album and call it a day.

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All I know is that Frank Ocean Rocks!!


I hope this rap thug thief loses every penny he never earned. You picked the wrong man to steal from frank. And this article is ignorant.

Ryan Casteel
Ryan Casteel

  This pisses you off, really!!!??? That song is his intellectual property and he has the right to have it used or played in whatever manner he chooses- regardless of if you think it is good for them or not.

  The sad truth is that there is an entire generation of no talent, thieving hacks in the music industry who are bought and sold by corporate music entities and popularized off of the musical success of others. If you go into a store and steal 2 silver forks out of a set of silverware you go to jail, but you steal part of someone else's hugely successful songs and there are no consequences, really?!!    In an industry where these major label acts no longer write or compose their own songs or lyrics, labels literally pick people off of the street who fit an image and will sign away their rights. Then they put together crappy songs for them on the back of someone else's sample and then team t up with a huge publicity campaign. They actually hope the original artist makes a big deal out of it so that THEY can get some free publicity and sell a few more B.S. albums!    This article is the self-serving ramblings of someone who probably has a computer full of stolen, I mean...err...umm...streamed songs. Obviously you are not an individual that has spent decades mastering their musical craft (or their writing skills for that matter).   Musicians not appreciating free publicity!!!??? This is a hugely ignorant statement- O.J. got a bunch of free publicity too but I don't think he is sending any thank-you notes to CNN. THESE ARTISTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT IS DONE WITH THEIR ART WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREE WITH IT.   "A gross display of someone thinking they are better than they are"- that is exactly how I would characterize this column. This article sounds as if it was written by the 16 year-old mean-girl cheerleader at Mater Academy Charter High School. Your piece reeks of selfish ignorance and ineptitude.


and your reply reeks of not understanding the art of Sampling. yes an artist has the right to his own music(unless the label wants it instead) but when you have already made HOW MUCH off that song, what could possibly be the actual harm of using it as a sample? its not like its just 10 seconds Hotel Cali on loop with rap on it. Its a sample. If that sample being used is going to hurt your sales or tarnish your image on a grand scale then yes get upset. but this was clearly not the case with Hotel California. Heres a question for you Mr Stealing Is Bad MmmKay: were you aware that US courts just made it legal for companies(!) to indefinitely extend copyrights, even after the artists' death? So its cool for major mega corporations to profit endlessly off dead people but its not okay for a teenager to use a short sample of one of the most popular songs on the planet for live shows? no possiblity of paying tribute or anything hm? do you even comprehend the amount of amazing music from the last 30 years that could not exist without often illegal sampling??? Go do your homework & stop getting so damn serious about articles that are obviously written in a humorous vein. peace.

Ryan Casteel
Ryan Casteel

I don't understand the the art of sampling?... I play in a Hip-Hop band, have recorded on 5 albums that all contained samples, own and use a sampler (Korg ESX) and have played in 16 states and performed and recorded with multiple Grammy winning artists including: The Roots, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Karl Denson and Primus to name a few. All use samples... And you know what- stealing is bad mmmmkay, that's why we have laws against it. It also makes it very difficult for the artists you love to survive in the business and continue to put out quality products. Do you have any idea how much it costs to fund a tour?

  Your argument is that people should be able to use others music because they have already made a lot of money off of it? That's ridiculous, Coke has made trillions off of itself already, but go write a song with "Coke is it" as the hook and see what happens. Also, I don't agree with the copyright ruling you reference either, but that is a totally different argument all together- I am referring to music where copyright has already been established and is not in question. Also, you can usually cover peoples songs in a live setting without legal issues, it's only when you try to record and sell them for a profit that it becomes a serious issue.  Furthermore; a sample being used without permission can absolutely be damaging to the image of the original writer, especially when you consider that the damage is subjective to the opinion of the image holder and is very difficult to disprove in court. That's exactly why the lawsuit is necessary- because in our society a Judge is the only one who is legally qualified to make a decision in this type of dispute.  I get very serious about this because it pertains directly to my industry and I know countless good people who have suffered due to the many different types of piracy and dishonesty that swarms to it.   I know there is a ton of great music that contains samples, and the use of samples is great and can absolutely add to the artistic value of music- but here is your bottom line: You have the right to sample, but when you do- you are taking the risk that the owner of that music will not approve of it's use and you will have to stop using it. If these people would simply ask first before they sample and release these songs there wouldn't be so many problems.  I do my homework in regards to music every day and while the tone of the article may have been intended to be in a humorous vein it's message definitely was not funny.

Music Insider
Music Insider

Your argument holds no water, Adikt. Your ignorance is overwhelming. Just the comment, "do you even comprehend the amount of amazing music from the last 30 years that could not exist without often illegal sampling???" shows how little knowledge you have of the music industry and the law.

A LEGIT Miami Music Blogger
A LEGIT Miami Music Blogger

Surprise surprise, this is written by a girl who publicly put on blast that she stole from Odd Future at their show in Miami:!/KatSaysK... (mirrored just in case she tries to go back and delete that Tweet)

My guess is that the author not only doesnt know about how much it costs artists to go on tour and what profit they actually pull in is, but blatantly doesn't care since she shows no regard for stealing from artists. How dare you even consider yourself a music journalist. Better hope exposing your over-sized-stretched-marked-saggy-titties and excessive drinking gets you somewhere in life honey... since your writing career wont.

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