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Samidoh’s rival sued over copyright issues

By Beth Nyambura January 20th, 2023 2 min read

Popular Benga artiste John Gikaria alias JB Maina has sued three Mugiithi artistes, Waithaka Wa Jane, Ka J Salim, Tonny Young, and Kamwana Wa Jane, for sampling his songs and posting them on their YouTube channel.

JB Maina is a talented singer who has been in the industry for decades.

He told Nairobi News that his hard work needed to be respected as he struggled to produce it.

In a letter seen by this reporter sent by Kenya Copyright Board dated January 15, 2023, to the four artists. It read, “These artistes record themselves singing my songs in clubs and all over their social media platforms, some even record on CDs and send them to people in the diaspora, claiming they are their songs.”

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Waithaka Wa Jane, who is now being linked to popular new age Mugithii star, Samidoh, jumped into a Facebook Live session, where he interacted with his fans and criticized “some people were planning his downfall.”

Waithaka, who is now being pitted by fans against Samidoh in a popularity contest, defended himself against the suit.

He alleged that he knew JB Maina was not the one behind the court order, and immediately he knew who was behind their downfall, he would update his followers.

“We used to sing these songs as covers from way back, with no issues, but now that we are working and getting paid, suddenly there is an issue. That is why artists like Gatutura do not want to sing other people’s songs. I will never intimidate people because of the songs I am doing right now or in the future,” he said.

He has said that his lawyers will deal with the matter.

Waithaka Wa Jane, 24, is now a highly sought-after one-man guitarist in Nairobi and the Central region.

In the live Facebook session, he said that most artists are working hard to pull down young upcoming artists.

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JB said he wants the upcoming musicians to respect people’s intellectual property and be creative so that they can come up with their own songs instead of relying on doing renditions of other people’s popular hits for a living.

“I want them to learn and also teach them to be creative,” he said. “I am not against anyone singing my songs, but stealing the ownership is what is is very wrong.”

This is not JB’s first complaint about people misusing his property.

In 2012, he sued Safaricom for allegedly using his songs as ringtones without his consent through teleco’s Skiza tunes and Surf 2 Win Promotion platforms.

In court, he argued that his CDs and DVDs sales dramatically reduced since Safaricom sold them for as low as Sh5.

In May 2014, Safaricom reached a settlement to pay him 15.5 million in compensation.

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