Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Ezekiel Mutua has taken issue with the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) for backing Sauti Sol in their copyright row with Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party.
KECOBO had on Tuesday claimed Azimio obtained a Public Performance License that allows them to only play local and international music at Raila Odinga’s campaign rallies and events.
Kecobo Executive Director Edward Sigei said the license does not cover music used in audiovisuals.
But in response, the MCSK accused KECOBO of spreading misinformation. Ezekiel Mutua said as members of MCSK, Sauti Sol signed their rights to the society to administer copyright on their behalf.
“We licensed the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign for use of musical works in their campaigns as per the Copyright Law and gazetted tariffs. Our members, including Sauti Sol, have assigned their rights to MCSK to administer copyright on their behalf. We are therefore shocked to see the confusion being caused by KECOBO over this matter,” he said.
Ezekiel Mutua said Raila Odinga should be lauded for complying with the copyright law by obtaining a license.
“We should give credit to the Raila Odinga presidential campaign team…The confusion by KECOBO is both unwarranted and unfortunate as these are matters we should have resolved amicably, given that we licensed the client in broad daylight,” the MCSK boss added.
Meanwhile, Sauti Sol said they will go ahead with a legal suit against Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance for violation of ‘Extravaganza’ copyright.
“This speaks volumes about how music is still not taken seriously in our country. It explains why artists are still paid a meagre Sh1,500 by Collective Management Organisations. We are going to seek legal redress and we do not have any personal fights with Azimio,” said lead vocalist Bien-Aime Baraza.
However, Nairobi Wire understands Ezekiel Mutua might be right on this one. The MCSK membership contract includes a clause called DEED OF ASSIGNMENT, which gives the CMO authority to license mechanical, performing and synchronisation rights.
Unless Sauti Sol withdrew those particular rights in the Deed of Assignment, then they are fighting a losing battle.
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