Despite the major confusion over alleged copyright infringement from Raila Odinga’s presidential campaign team after publishing a video announcement on their candidate’s running mate using Sauti Sol’s song, the band insists they’ll still sue.
It has been an emotional rollercoaster marred with a lot of confusion the past two days since the band threatened to sue Azimio coalition. First, KECOBO Executive Director Edward Sigei said the coalition had no right to use the band’s soundtrack with a visual image. Then, thousands of Kenyans started unfollowing Sauti Sol on social media. Currently, close to 3,000 people have unfollowed the band on YouTube only. Reacting to the avalanche, Bien, the lead, said that the band is okay with losing fans who are not loyal.
“Time will reveal. Those who want to leave, let them leave,” wrote Bien on Instagram. On the contrary, Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) which is in charge of the licensing, said KECOBO is out to mislead Kenyans.
The society’s director Ezekiel Mutua said that Azimio followed the procedure and the band wouldn’t win the case in court.
“Our over 15,000 members, including Sauti Sol, have assigned to us, not only the performing rights but also mechanical synchronization,” Mutua clarified.
“Our position still remains that the Raila Odinga Presidential campaign obtained and the issues being raised by Sauti Sol KECOBO are technicalities that should be sorted out administratively.In any case, besides the Raila Odinga Presidential campaign team having obtained a valid license from us, Section 107 of copyright Act 1976 copyright law on FAIR USE permits a party to use a copyrighted musical work without the copyright owners’ permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, NEWS REPORTING, teaching, scholarship, or research.”
The MSCK boss also attached a copy of the license document to his post indicating the political coalition had paid Sh562,500 to access and publicly use the music.