December 4, 2023

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Drake and 21 Savage Settle Lawsuit Over Fake Vogue Cover

Last November, Vogue’s publisher sued Drake and 21 Savage for posting and distributing a fake Vogue cover as part of their Her Loss promotion campaign. Now, the lawsuit has been settled, as Semafor and Billboard report. The agreement includes a permanent injunction barring any further use of Condé Nast’s Vogue trademarks, as well as an undisclosed payment from Drake and 21 Savage. (Condé Nast and Vogue’s parent company, Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., formally filed the lawsuit. Pitchfork is also owned by Condé Nast and Advance.)

In an internal email obtained by Billboard, Condé Nast general counsel William Bowes said the company was “glad to put this matter behind us.” He added: “As a creative company, we of course understand our brands may from time to time be referenced in other creative works. In this instance, however, it was clear to us that Drake and 21 Savage leveraged Vogue’s reputation for their own commercial purposes and, in the process, confused audiences who trust Vogue as the authoritative voice on fashion and culture.”

The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed on November 7 in a New York federal court. The complaint, originally reported by TMZ and viewed by Pitchfork, alleged that, in addition to circulating faux Vogue cover digitally, Drake and 21 professionally reprinted a full issue of the magazine with the bogus cover and handed it out in multiple North American cities. The suit claimed that fans were led to believe the magazines were genuine.

According to the lawsuit, the print versions were largely unchanged copies of the magazine, save for the album title appearing on certain pages. There was also an image of Drake photoshopped onto one page, per the complaint.

On October 30, Drake shared the fake cover in a since-deleted Instagram post (viewed by Pitchfork). He wrote at the time: “Me and my brother on newsstands tomorrow!! Thanks @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support on this historic moment.”

During the Her Loss campaign, Drake and 21 also posted parody versions of NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series, The Howard Stern Show,  Saturday Night Live, and “A Colors Show.”

Pitchfork has reached out to Drake and 21 Savage’s respective representatives for comment.

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