Copyright infringement in Nigeria and Africa’s music industry is a serious problem. Also, often, content creators and rightsholders (from the artists to other industry professionals) scream infringement, piracy etc. but are the worse perpetrators. It is an issue I have discussed for years on an offline and at events/conferences where I have been asked to speak. African creators and rightsholders must learn to clean house first and practice what they preach.
As a general rule, and as we have discussed here on AML, you should not use the creative works of others without their consent. To use the copyrighted music of another in your own music, you need a license. Further, consent, where intellectual property law is concerned, should be in writing (in certain instances, they must be in writing). We will have more discussions on music licensing as the year progresses.
On to our story. The news story below alleges that Skales infringed on the copyrighted work of Fela Kuti. In response, Fela Kuti’s estate alerted YouTube to take down the infringing audio-visual content. The estate has also allegedly addresed the infringement and is requiring Skales to clear his sample.
I think the above brings another player into the picture, Skales’ record company, Baseline. Often, the investors or owners of record companies in Nigeria/other African countries don’t conduct copyright clearances or have systems in place to do so. They also don’t know music history or songs as well as they should to identify/catch such infringing content before sale and distribution. There is a lot of work to be done in setting up the necessary infrastructure as the industry continues to grow.
Interesting times ahead this 2017.
Excerpt from news story below:
“…Produced by KrizBeatz, the ‘Temper’ remix which was reworked and sampled Fela’s “Sorrow, Tears & Blood” and ‘Roforofo Fight’, had Burna Boy and Skales dovetailing to good effect. The song has a strong Afrobeat sampling with the composition and lyrics riffed in the creation of the new work.
Where Fela sang “Hey, yeah/Everybody run, run, run/Everybody scatter scatter/Some people lost some bread”, Burna and Skales replaced it with “Hey, yeah/Everybody run, run, run/Everybody scatter scatter/Hey, yeah dance don catch fire/Hey, yeah boys don start to maya.””
Pulse.ng has the full story.