Kenyan band Sauti Sol has threatened to sue presidential aspirant Raila Odinga’s campaign party for allegedly using their song ‘Extravaganza’ without permission.
In a statement signed by the band members Bien Aime, Polycarp Ochieng, Willis Austin and Delvin Savara, Sauti Sol threatened to sue Raila’s Azimio la Umoja for using the song while the politician unveiled Martha Karua as his running mate.
“The Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s social media accounts have without license nor authority used one of our more popular original compositions, 'Extravaganza', as a soundtrack to the announcement post of the running mate.
“We did not license this song to the Azimio la Umoja campaign neither did we give any consents for its use in the announcement of their Vice-Presidential candidate,” read part of the statement.
Sauti Sol described the song as one of their most “distinct compositions,” adding that Azimio’s actions were a “blatant copyright infringement as directed by Section 35 CAP 170 of the Copyright Acts of Kenya.”
The band further clarified that they are not affiliated to the Azimio La Umoja Campaign or any other political movement, saying they are “fully apolitical.”
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“We are disappointed by the Azimio la Umoja Campaign’s blatant disregard of our right to control the use of our copyright. We shall be seeking legal remedy for this clear violation of our right,” said Sauti Sol.
In response to Sauti Sol’s statement, Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) said they had no ill intention by playing their song, but rather, showing love for their work.
“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team @sautisol that we love them & 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 was a show of love for their work,” said ODM via their official Twitter handle.
However, on May 7, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) stated that Raila Odinga paid a sum of Sh526,000 to acquire license to play copyrighted music during his presidential campaigns.
“It's gratifying to see that Presidential candidates @RailaOdinga are complying with the Copyright law by paying for music used in their political campaigns.
“We thank @Winnie_Odinga and the entire @RailaOdinga 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,” wrote MCSK via Twitter.