When Jerusalema song hit the airwaves, many found solace in it at the heart of Covid-19 outbreak by initiating the famous ‘Jerusalema Challenge’. Kenyan Members of parliament, organizations and even companies were not left behind as they all shot videos performing the viral Jerusalema Challenge.
Many took it as an opportunity to market themselves and a number made a kill through the challenge.
But months later, Members of Parliament, businesses and corporations in Kenya and across the world may soon be forced to part with thousands of shillings as fine over the Jerusalema Challenge dance challenge.
Music record company, Warner Music – with which Master KG the Jerusalema hit maker is under contract – on Monday said it will demand license fees for the use of the song.
The corporation, in a statement to German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW), said it will be demanding the fees from any organization or institution across the world that used the music, either “as an advertising or image-promoting effect in favor of an institution, organization or company”.
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DW, in its publication said a spokesperson from Warner Germany said participants in the challenge, ought to have sought permission or rights from the producers, in the form of a license, before dancing to the music.
This implies that all institutions, corporates or companies institution that took part in the challenge that used the song either as part of their public relations or corporate social responsibility initiatives will be liable to the fines.
And while Warner music is yet to disclose the amounts it will charge on the said institutions, it however said that the fines will not be imposed on individuals who took part in the challenge.
In Kenya alone apart from the Kenyan parliament, many companies, county governments like Nairobi and Mombasa as well as parastatals and private organizations also took part in the challenge.
The Jerusalema soundtrack is a creation of South African artist and record producer Master KG, and Nomcebo Zikode.
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However, their intention has already received much criticism from various quarters among them lawyers.
An open letters written to Warner online, accused the company of filling its pockets from the viral challenge and its good intentions, all with the aim of neutralizing the positive vibe it had created.
Some lawyers also questioned the morality of the move. While some argued that Warner Music company had the right to protect its copyright and that of its artists, others said the timing of the move was suspect.
Others said the company ought to have warned users to first delete the videos before imposing the fines.
Should Warner music go ahead with the law suit, many risk being fined for using the popular song.
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