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Confusion As MCSK, KECOBO Issue Conflicting Statements On Sauti Sol-Azimio Copyright Row

ezekiel mutua
MCSK CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua. / Courtesy

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) and Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) have issued conflicting statements regarding the copyright infringement row between boy band Sauti Sol and Raila-led Azimio la Umoja coalition.

Boy band group Sauto Sol has been trending for the better part of the day after threatening to sue Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition for copyright infringement.

In a statement shared on Twitter, the Extravaganza hitmakers said they had not authorized the Raila-led coalition to use their song and hence threatened to take legal action.

“This action is a flagrant disregard of our basic and fundamental rights to property and freedom of association. Through their action, they have taken away the right to own and control what is originally and solely our property and have directly associated us with their campaign without our consent. This is contrary to Article 4 of the Constitution of Kenya.” they wrote.

Read: Sauti Sol Trolled For Threatening To Sue Azimio Over ‘Copyright Infringement’

This quickly escalated to a war of words between Azimio supporters and Sauti sol fans, with the latter being heavily trolled.

Some netizens were quick to point out that the Odinga-led team had already made payments to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MSCK) for local and international music played at the Azimio campaigns.

Notably, early this month, Winnie Odinga, Odinga’s daughter and Azimio representative, paid Sh526,000 to MSCK as confirmed by Senior Licensing Officer David Kiragu.

Sanity was quite restored when the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) clarified that although Azimio la Umoja had paid fees allowing them to play Kenyan music, they should’ve also sought to consent from the original creators of the song. Thus, it labeled the move a copyright infringement.

Read Also: MCSK to Pay Diamond Ksh1.2 Million for Performance; Kenyan Artists to Get Only Ksh 50,000

Bringing in more confusion is MCSK Boss Ezekiel Mutua who placed blame on a third party, excusing Azimio La Umoja while calling for an amicable resolution of the same.

Mutua in a statement on Twitter said if there is any issue regarding the same, it should be blamed on Raila’s Azimio as they did due diligence and paid for licensing.

“The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) has been licensing synchronization for decades. This license is issued jointly by all the CMOs to ensure that all rights are covered. If there’s any issue of the interpretation of the law, the problem is not with the user but KECOBO,” Mutua wrote.

This has created more confusion with each board trying to switch blame from their side. Here are some reactions from Twitter:

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email news@kahawatungu.com

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