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Copyright board now sucked into Raila-Sauti Sol ‘Extravaganza’ tiff

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga and Kenyan afro-pop band Sauti Sol have been directed by the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) to solve their squabble amicably.

The board’s executive director Edward Sigei on Tuesday said the use of sound recording for synchronization in the manner that was outlined by the Sauti Sol without their authority is an infringement that violates Kenya copyright laws.

Sigei termed the issue as a civil matter that the two parties have the power to resolve amicably with or without compensation.

He went on to explain that separate sets of rights in a sound recording are managed concurrently by the composer, publisher and a collecting management organisation where they are operational.

According to Sigei, Azimio has obtained a public performance lincence which allows it to play both the local and international music at its rallies and events.

“However, the use of sound recording as a soundtrack with virtual images in a film, video, television show, commercial or other audio-visual production is not part of the uses authorised by a Public Performance Licence,”Sigei said.

He added that a synchronisation licence can be issued by the composer or the publisher, which, according to Sauti Sol, was not issued.

“Therefore, the use of sound-recording for synchronisation in the manner outlined by the complainant without authority is, therefore, infringement and thus violates Kenyan Copyright Law.”

Sauti Sol had threatened to sue Raila Odinga and his political outfit for breach of copyright laws.

In a statement shared on social media, the group said Mr Odinga used the song Extravaganza without their consent during the unveiling of Martha Karua as his running mate.

“We did not licence this song to the Azimio la Umoja campaign, neither did we give any consent to its use in the announcement of their vice-presidential candidate. Furthermore, our authority to use the composition, which is one of our most distinct compositions was neither sought nor given. This is blatant copyright infringement as directed by Section 35 CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya,” the statement read in part.

In his reply, Mr Odinga explained that the use of the song was occasioned by the love and appreciation of the musicians’ talents.