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Copyright Board highlights specific law Raila's Azimio violated in Sauti Sol complaint

Sauti Sol has already lost 1,000 YouTube subscribers from 905K to 904K subscribers

ODM Party Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and Sauti Sol

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has been forced to intervene after music group Sauti Sol launched a complaint against Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party for allegedly using their song without permission.

In a statement, the board confirmed that Azimio had already paid for the license that allows them to use local and international music during their political rallies.

“The incident raised a pertinent question of whether all exploitation of sound recording falls within the power of the Collective Management Organization. This is to clarify that separate sets of rights in a sound recording are managed concurrently by the composer, publisher, and Collective Management Organization where they are operational. Collective Management Organization (CMOs) generally issues a license authorizing entities to use the sound recording for public performance.

“It’s in the public domain that Azimio has obtained a public performance license allowing it to play both local and international music at its rallies and events,” the KECOBO statement said in part.


However, KECOBO confirmed that the coalition violated Kenyan Copyright law by using Sauti Sol’s sound recording for synchronization.

“In this case synchronization rights are at issue and as such, a synchronization license is needed. A synchronization license can only be issued by the composer and publisher. They have the authority to negotiate and issue a synchronization license. In this matter, the composers/performers allege that this was not done.

"Therefore, the use of Sound recording for synchronization the complainant without authority is, therefore, infringement and thus violates Kenya copyright law,” the statement added.


Earlier on, Raila Odinga through his party – the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) - argued that playing the song was show of love to the music group.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team @sautisol that we love them and appreciate their music so much. The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international for a and every Kenyan appreciates this. Playing their song yesterday was a show of love for their work,” reads the statement from ODM Party.

On Monday, May 16, 2022 Sauti Sol threatened to sue Azimio for using their song Extravaganza during an event that saw the Alliance unveil Martha Karua as Raila Odinga’s running.

The group pointed out that the act of Azimio using their tune without consent is blatant copyright infringement as directed by Section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.


The song Extravaganza, which was released on May 29, 2019 features: Sauti Sol, Bensoul, Nviiri the Storyteller, Crystal Asige and Kaskazini.

Since the standoff between Azimio and Sauti Sol began, the group has lost a total of 1000 subscribers. On Monday evening the group had 905K subscribers but currently they have 904K subscribers.


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