South African DJ, Master KG, has reportedly issued letters demanding licence fees from brands that have used his hit single ‘Jerusalema’ for profit through the globally popular #JerusalemaChallenge.
Master KG has reportedly filed letters of demand pertaining to licence fees for the illegal commercial use of his viral hit single “Jerusalema”. This comes after the hit single started a global dance wave under the #JerusalemaChallenge which saw the creation of dance videos from music fans to large brand houses. Warner International, under which Master KG is cosigned, has reportedly sent out letters of demand of royalties to organisations that have allegedly used the single and the dance challenge for brand advertising and promotions.
According to DW, a Warner spokesperson from Warner Germany stated that individuals would not be fined or need to obtain a license to use “Jerusalema” as part of the challenge in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, videos that appear to display “an advertising or image-promoting effect in favor of an institution, organization or company” would be required to enter into a licence fee negotiation. The news has subsequently caused outrage on social media with many claiming that Warner’s actions are “unwarranted” and “greedy”. Master KG’s legal representative from record label Open Mic, Dumisani Motsamai, has publicly defended the legal action. Motsamai revealed that many companies and organisations had used drone shots showing company yards, logos and products through videos of #JerusalemaChallenge, this according to EWN.
“Jerusalema” is admittedly protected by music copyright laws which stipulate that the single cannot be distributed for commercial use without consent. Motsamai has reportedly stated that videos by police, nurses, communities, dance groups, family and such are safe from legal action. Open Mic has reportedly started reaching out to local companies while Warner simultaneously does the same in Germany.
The #JerusalemaChallenge started in the beginning of 2020 with almost every country around the world joining the dance challenge through YouTube, Twitter, Instagra, and Facebook. Video uploads for the challenge are still ongoing.
The “Jerusalema” music video has over 344 million views. Master KG won the “Best African Act” award at the 2020 MTV European Music Awards, beating Burna Boy and Rema among others. He recently bagged an award at the Nigeria’s Headies music awards taking home the “African Artiste Recognition” award.
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