Award-winning Kenya music band, Sauti Sol has accused the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition of using their song without prior approval during the unveiling of Martha Karua as Raila’s running mate.
Through a press statement on Monday, May 16, the band accused the coalition of using their song ‘Extravaganza’ saying it was a blatant copyright infringement as directed by section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.
“We did not license this song to the Azimio la Umoja Campaign neither did we give any for 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,” reads part of the statement from Sauti Sol.
The song Extravaganza, which was released on May 29, 2019, featured; Sauti Sol, Bensoul, Nviiri the Storyteller, Crystal Asige, and Isskazini.
The group which expressed their disappointment with the Azimio la Umoja campaign’s blatant disregard of their right to control the use of their copyright vowed to seek legal redress.
“We Shall be seeking legal remedy for this clear violation of our copyright,” Sauti Sol in their statement.
The group further distanced itself from the Azimio la Umoja Alliance and any other political movement ahead of the August polls.
“We would like to make it very clear to our fans, partners, and associates, we are not aligned to nor associated with the Azimio la Umoja Campaign or any other Political movement and/or party their presidential aspirants, vice presidential aspirants, and candidates at large. We are fully apolitical,” they said.
But as the group plans to sue Azimio, it is remembered that the Azimio-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has paid the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) Ksh 526,000 to acquire a license to play music during his presidential 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 said.