We reported yesterday that Frank Ocean was apparently being threatened by Don Henley’s legal team over his use of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” on Nostalgia, Ultra‘s “American Wedding.” But it turns out that it wasn’t Henley who was miffed over the whole thing but music label giant Warner Music. They sent a statement to Spin about the matter and made it clear they’re not happy about Ocean’s use of the “Hotel California” master track:
“Frank Ocean did not merely ‘sample’ a portion of the Eagles’ Hotel California; he took the whole master track, plus the song’s existing melody, and replaced the lyrics with his own. This is not creative, let alone ‘intimidating.’ It’s illegal. For the record, Don Henley has not threatened or instituted any legal action against Frank Ocean, although the Eagles are now considering whether they should. Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to Warner Music Group as it is the entity that currently owns the master recording and made the contact with Frank Ocean’s representatives concerning his infringement of the master recording.”
Oh boy. Shit just got real.
Update: The above statement was actually from Henley’s spokesman, Larry Solters.