A BAREFOOTLAW GUIDE TO THE EDDIE KENZO AND COCA COLA "SITYA LOSS" COPYRIGHT ISSUE:
1. Once upon a time, Eddie Kenzo releases a song called "Sitya Loss". This song went on to become a worldwide sensation, even winning him a BET Award.
2. Eventually, different videos of this song were produced and published online, including a version where the "Ghetto kids" dance to the Sitya Loss song .
3. The Coca cola company then launches a promotion entitled "A billion reasons to believe in Africa " and among the clips in the video, is a clip that appears to have been taken from the Ghetto kids version of the Eddie Kenzo "Sitya Loss" song, but with a different background beat.
4. Eddie Kenzo's lawyers then write to Century Bottling company in Uganda asking them to cease and desist from breaching Eddie Kenzo's copyright since the "A Billion reasons to Believe in Africa” promotion contains his works which has been caused to be reproduced, broadcast and transmitted through various channels in the Country and Africa without express permission or licence from him.
5. In addition, they demand that Coca Cola to cease and desist from using the said works in their advert, and also pay USD 1million (UGX 3.5 Billion) for infringement.
5. According to media reports, Century bottling company in their defense claim the video is owned by Mr. Dauda Kavuma, founder of Triplets Foundation, who had in fact posted the video online from whom they obtained permission. In addition, Coca cola claim they got consent of each parent through written agreement.
6. They also claim that the letter was addressed to the wrong person because Century Bottling company in Uganda is simply an authorized bottler in Uganda and had nothing to do with the advert, which was run by the Coca-Cola Central, East & West Africa Limited to whom the letter should be addressed.
7. Coca cola also claim that the Eddie Kenzo Sitya Loss video was in no way used during the production of the advert since the video used was a different version by the Ghetto Kids.
WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT?
8. A Copyright is defined as the exclusive legal right is that it is a bunch of rights in certain creative works such as text, artistic works, music, computer programs, sound recording held by one person, which no one else is allowed to use without permission.
9. Copyrights don't have to be registered to be valid, merely recording or singing or writing etc can mean the work is copyrighted.
10. In this case, since the song "Sitya Loss" is a work of music by Eddie Kenzo, then he owns the Copyright to the Song and the official video thereto. The question arising relates to ownership of the video performed of the "Sitya Loss" song by the Ghetto kids.
11. However, one question that might likely be decided by court, if this matter does go to court, will be who owns the version performed by the Ghetto Kids, is it still Eddie Kenzo? or the person who mobilized the Ghetto Kids to perform the dance? or the Ghetto kids themselves.
Another question might be that did Coca Cola indeed infringe on Eddie Kenzo's copyright, considering their claim that they used the video of the kids dancing, and obtained necessary permission from the person who made that video, the Ghetto Kids, and their parents.
12. Whatever the judgement, this case will be one of those that leads to a further development of the law of Copyright in Uganda, particularly when it comes to works published or infringement carried out online.
LESSON TO LEARN:
13. For others out there, if you have are a musician, writer, computer programmer, much as a copyright does not have to be registered in order for it to be valid, please try to have it registered, particularly works of art and design because in case a dispute as to ownership arises, then it will be easier for you to prove your rights.
PS : We developed this guide based on media reports and new facts might have come to light since this guide was published.
Do you have any questions on how to protect your Copyright and other forms of Intellectual Property in Uganda? If you do visit our website at www.barefootlaw.org
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