Presidential aspirant Raila Odinga has paid Sh562,500 to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya for the use of music during his political campaign.
The Azimio One Kenya Alliance leader was represented by his daughter Winnie Odinga on May 7 in a meeting with the Collective Management Organisation’s Licensing Officer David Kiragu, where she made the payment.
“It is gratifying to see that presidential candidates are complying with the Copyright Law by paying for music used in their political campaigns,” MCSK wrote on Twitter.
“We thank Winnie Odinga and the entire Raila Odinga Presidential team for this gesture and urge other political candidates to emulate them by making payments for the use of copyrighted musical works in their campaigns.”
MCSK added that with the licence, Mr Odinga is free to use local and international music during his campaigns as the country gears up for the August 2022 General Election.
The payment complies with Section 38 (c) of the Kenya Copyright Act 2021, which states that “any person who causes a literary or musical work, an audio-visual work or a sound recording, to be performed in public at a time when copyright subsists in such work or sound recording and where such performances is an infringement of that copyright, shall be guilty of an offence.”
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Offenders face a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or a jail sentence of four years or both.
During the 2017 General Elections, presidential aspirants paid Sh400,000 to the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) or Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).
Recently, music has been aggressively used during political rallies as a catchy way for politicians to relate with the public.
Songs like Trio Mio’s Sipangwingwi and Lucky Dube’s No one Can Stop Reggae have already been popularised in several campaigns leading up to the elections.
In February, Mr Odinga released a song to be used as his official campaign anthem, Leo Ni Leo, a rendition of the popular Luhya song Lelo ni Lelo by Benga composer, instrumentalist and singer Emmanuel Musindi.