With the two superstars currently asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit they call “baseless,” accusers Braindon Cooper and Timothy Valentine moved Tuesday (April 26) to voluntarily dismiss all claims against Drake. The case will continue against Brown and Sony Music Entertainment.
It’s unclear whether Drake struck some kind of settlement deal to escape the case, or if the pair simply conceded defeat in going after the rapper. Neither side’s attorneys immediately returned requests for comment from Billboard.
“No Guidance,” released on June 8, 2019, off Brown’s ninth studio album, Indigo, and spent 46 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 5 in October 2019. The song, on which Drake was featured, was also nominated for best R&B song at the 62nd Grammy Awards.
In their October lawsuit, Cooper and Valentine claimed “No Guidance” ripped off their 2016 track “I Love Your Dress.” Among other alleged similarities, the accusers pointed to the fact that each song featured the phrase “you got it” in the lyrical hook.
In January, Brown and Drake asked the judge to dismiss the case by arguing, among other things, that there was no evidence the stars had ever even heard Cooper and Valentine’s “obscure” song – a crucial part of proving copyright infringement. The two plaintiffs then fired back in February, arguing that Brown and Drake were basically claiming they were too famous to be sued by nobodies.
“This argument – essentially that defendants are somehow immune from copyright infringement claims by individuals who are not as famous as they are – is both egotistical and without any legal basis whatsoever,” the two wrote in a scathing February brief. “Undoubtedly, regardless of their fame and status, defendants may be, and should be, held accountable for their infringement.”
As of Tuesday’s motion to drop Drake from the case, those arguments to dismiss the case pending. If the judge overseeing the case denies them, the claims against Brown and others will head toward discovery and an eventual jury trial.