Sauti Sol demonstrated their ignorance in their misguided bid to sue Raila Odinga and his political outfit Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance over breach of copyright.
The group blasted Raila for using their 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 it’s 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,” read part of a statement issued by Sauti Sol.
The all boys band also stressed that they were not affiliated to any political party.
“This action is a flagrant disregard of our basic and fundamental rights to property and freedom of association.”
Sauti Sol also complained that Azimio’s use of their song denied them the right to control and own what is originally and solely their property by directly associating them to their campaign without consent.
— SAUTI SOL (@sautisol) May 16, 2022
However, Sauti Sol’s threat to sue Raila is dead on arrival because the ODM leader actually paid music regulatory body Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) to play local songs during his campaign.
This was in accordance 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 while copyright exists in such a work is guilty of an infringement of that copyright.
On May 7th 2022, Raila paid MCSK Ksh526,000 to acquire license to play music during his presidential campaigns.
The ODM leader through the organization’s Senior Licensing Officer David Kiragu, Raila’s daughter Winnie Odinga, who was acting as his representative, remitted the funds to MCSK.
“It is gratifying to see that presidential candidates are complying with the Copyright Law by paying for music ised in their political campaigns.
“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 tweeted.
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. pic.twitter.com/Jd9HmHifvt
— MCSK (@TheMCSK) May 7, 2022
MCSK said Raila was free to use local and international music in his campaigns to woo voters ahead of the August 9th elections.
The ODM leader was the first presidential candidate to follow the MCSK’s Copyright Act 2021 guidelines.
Offenders face a maximum fine of Ksh500,000 or a four-year prison sentence, or both.
MCSK and other collective management organizations (CMOs) such as KAMP and PRISK are tasked with collecting revenues on behalf of artists and distributing royalties to them.