Sauti Sol vs Azimio: MCSK says Raila team free to use songs, accuses KECOBO of confusion

Sauti Sol vs Azimio: MCSK says Raila team free to use songs, accuses KECOBO of confusion

MCSK CEO Ezekiel Mutua during a past interview. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Ezekiel Mutua now says the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party obtained all necessary licences to play both local and international music in their campaign shows and material.

This comes on the back of online confusion after Kenyan boy band Sauti Sol threatened legal action against Azimio over the usage of its ‘Extravaganza’ hit song in a video unveiling the political outfit’s presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga’s running mate, Martha Karua.

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) had earlier stated that Azimio only acquired a public performance license but failed to obtain synchronization permits that could have allowed them to play the songs in audio-visual productions such as videos and films.

“We wish to clarify that we licensed the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign for use of musical works in their campaigns as per the Copyright Law and gazetted tariffs. We are therefore shocked to see the confusion being caused by KECOBO over this matter,” Mutua said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

According to Mutua, synchronization licenses are only issued by Collective Management Organisations (CMO) such as MCSK and not KECOBO, hence the copyrights authority should refrain from commenting on affairs that do not fall under its jurisdiction.

“The Kenya Copyright Board is not a CMO and should stop causing confusion to spite the CMOs or inconvenience our clients. If there's any issue about the synchronisation of the video, that should be a matter to be resolved by the CMOs who issued the license,” he said.

“Our over 15000 members, including Sauti Sol, have assigned to us, not only the performing rights, but also mechanical rights that include synchronisation. MCSK has been licensing synchronisation for decades and KECOBO knows that.”

Mutua went on to laud the Odinga-led coalition for conforming to copyright laws noting that the license issued to Azimio is sufficient for the entity to carry out its campaigns and rallies across the nation.

“We therefore wish to clarify that the licenses issued to the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign team are sufficient and the confusion by KECOBO is both unwarranted and unfortunate as these are matters we should have resolved amicably, given that we licensed the client in broad daylight,” he stated.


Ezekiel Mutua Azimio Copyright MCSK KECOBO

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