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Copyright board to Azimio: You owe Sauti Sol money

By Stephanie Wangari | May 17th 2022 | 2 min read
By Stephanie Wangari | May 17th 2022
 Music group Sauti Sol [Instagram]

The Kenya Copyright Board has said that music group Sauti Sol has the right to demand compensation from Azimio la Umoja after the political outfit used their song without consent.

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Monday, May 16, used Sauti Sol’s Extravaganza hit-song on Twitter while unveiling Martha Karua as his running mate.

Sauti Sol took issue with that, saying they never gave Azimio la Umoja or Raila Odinga the permission to use their song for political reasons.

The boy band, consequently, said they’ll seek legal redress.

The issue triggered debate on social media, with Twitter users divided on whether Sauti Sol had the right to fault the political outfit.

ODM in a Tuesday tweet said Raila Odinga had used the song to show his support and admiration for the four-member music group.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team Sauti sol that we love them and appreciate their music so much. The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international fora and every Kenyan appreciates this. Playing their song yesterday (Monday, May 16) was a show of love for their work,” said ODM on Twitter.

Our efforts to get a comment from Azimio la Umoja presidential campaigns communications head Dennis Onsarigo were met with vague responses.

“We’d already paid the MCSK some fee to allow us use the artistes’ songs,” he said.

Asked whether Azimio la Umoja sought permission from Sauti Sol, Onsarigo didn’t give a direct response.

The Kenya Copyright Board now says Sauti Sol had every right to demand payment from Azimio.

“... the use of sound recording as soundtrack with visual images in a film, video, television show, commercial or other audio-visual production is not part of those uses authorised by a public performance license,” said the copyright agency.

"In this case, synchronisation rights are at issue and as such, a synchronisation license was needed... In this matter, the composers or performers allege that this was not done,” the Kenya Copyright Board said, stating that Sauti Sol had proved their case.

“The use of sound recording for synchronisation in the manner outlined by Sauti Sol without their authority is infringement, and thus violates Kenya Copyright law. It is a civil matter that the two parties have the power to resolve amicably with or without compensation,” said the Kenya Copyright Board.

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