What 'Jerusalema' copyright battle says about exploitation of artists in SA

| Refilwe Moloto speaks to partner and Trademark and Copyright Attorney at Adams and Adams Stephen Hollis about Charmza the DJ and Biblos legal proceedings against Master KG, the record label Open Mic Productions for alleged copyright infringement in respect of their commercialisation of the Jerusalema song and master recording.

A copyright battle over the hit song _Jerusalema _has arisen against the producer of the song, Master KG, and the record label that distributed the song, Open Mic Productions.

The song, which features vocals from Nomcebo, was released in 2019 and became a global hit after an Angolan dance troupe created a routine to the song and released the video on social media platforms.

South African producer Charmza the DJ and musician DJ Biblos are suing Master KG and Open Mic for copyright infringement.

Charmza claimed that he was never paid for producing and composing the song while Biblos said he did not agree to his vocals being sampled 114 times in the track.

Biplos' sample can be clearly heard in the song and there is evidence that Master KG was not present while Charmza worked with Nomcebo to create the hit.

Charmza the DJ and Nomcebo worked together in studio for that day to produce what, ultimately, became one of the biggest hits globally that we've seen.

Stephen Hollis, partner and trademark andcopyright attorney - Adams and Adams

We've given Master KG and Open Mic a fair opportunity to come to the table to discuss our clients' claims. They simply rejected it out of hand which is very unhelpful and, in my personal experience, that often happens when a party thinks the artist can't afford legal representation.

Stephen Hollis, partner and trademark andcopyright attorney - Adams and Adams

This is not really just about remuneration or money, this is very much about ethics and these kind of things happen way too much and, unfortunately, way too often in South Africa's music business.

Stephen Hollis, partner and trademark andcopyright attorney - Adams and Adams

Listen to the full interview above.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : What 'Jerusalema' copyright battle says about exploitation of artists in SA

More in Multimedia