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Judge Orders Drake & 21 Savage to Stop Using Fake Vogue Cover: ‘Deceiving The Public’

Siding with Condé Nast, a federal judge says the two superstars are "misleading consumers" with their album launch stunt.

Just two days after Condé Nast sued Drake and 21 Savage for using a fake cover story in Vogue magazine to promote their new album Her Loss, a federal judge has issued a restraining order forcing them to stop using it.

Siding with Condé, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled Wednesday that the faux cover – one of several fake promos for the album – was likely violating the publisher’s trademarks because Drake and 21 were “misleading consumers” and “deceiving the public.”

“Issuance of the requested temporary restraining order is in the public interest to protect the public against confusion, deception and mistake,” the New York federal judge wrote.


For the past week, Drake and 21 Savage have been on a phony media blitz to promote Her Loss, which debuted Friday. They dropped a video of a fake performance on Saturday Night Live, teased an a similar appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk series, and created an elaborate deepfake interview with Howard Stern.

NPR used the stunt as an opportunity to tell the star he was “welcome anytime” on the beloved concert, and Stern laughed the whole thing off, but Condé Nast went a different route. In a lawsuit filed Monday, the publisher called the stunt a “flagrant infringement” its trademark, aimed at exploiting the “tremendous value that a cover feature in Vogue magazine carries” without actually securing one.

“All of this is false,” the publisher’s lawyers wrote, demanding an immediate injunction forcing Drake and 21 to cease all use of the “counterfeit” cover. “And none of it has been authorized by Condé Nast.”

The order issued Wednesday is what’s known as a temporary restraining order – a quick injunction designed to prevent “irreparable harm” that could not later be undone. A plaintiff like Condé can only win one if the judge decides that they are likely to eventually win their lawsuit.

Judge Rakoff’s order bars Drake and 21 from “using, displaying, dissenting or distributing” the fake cover or the actual phony Vogue copies they printed as part of the stunt. And it expressly requires them to take down websites and social media posts sharing the image, and to remove physical posters put up in certain markets.

Notably, it also explicitly requires them to stop making any mention of Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. In its lawsuit, Conde took particular aim at the fact that Drake had thanked her in his posts sharing the fake magazine cover, saying it had been “deliberately deceptive” to suggest that the infamous editor had endorsed the project.

A rep for Drake declined to comment on Wednesday’s ruling. A rep for 21 did not immediately return requests for comment.

A temporary restraining order is, by its nature, temporary – lasting only until the parties have a chance to argue over a longer-term injunction. A hearing on such an injunction is set for Nov. 22.

Read the full order here: