The Star reports that a band by the name of Webuye Jua Kali has served Kayamba Africa with a Demand Letter in respect of alleged copyright infringement.
The renowned Kayamba Africa group is accused of publicly performing two of Webuye Jua Kali’s songs “Mulongo” and “My Dear” without the latter’s authority or permission.
Webuye Jua Kali will most likely be grounding its suit on Section 30 of the Copyright Act which reads in part:
30. (1) No person shall do any of the following acts without the authorization of the performer –
(b) communicate to the public his performance except where the communication (is) authorized by the performer
In section 2(1) of the Act, communication to the public is defined as:
(a) a live performance; or
(b) a transmission to the public, other than a broadcast, of the images or sounds or both, of a work, performance or sound recording;
Webuye Jua Kali’s challenge will be to establish definitively that the public performances actually took place and that Kayamba Africa received remuneration.
Kayamba Africa, on its part, would be advised to try and settle the matter out of court by negotiating a reduced pay settlement.
It is times like these one wishes that the Copyright Tribunal contemplated under section 48 of Act was in existence as it would provide a competent authority to provide a credible alternative dispute mechanism for both parties. This Authority has still not been set up by the Board due to administrative and financial challenges.