Singer Richard Kaweesa has written to President Museveni seeking for five billion shillings (Ssh5b) in compensation for copyright for using ‘Another Rap’ song during the 2011 presidential campaigns.
In an October 30 demand notice, Kaweesa says he wrote and produced the song which later became popular as Museveni canvassed for votes and eventually won the 2011 polls partly riding on the song.
“This song also became a popular ringtone which obtained on all mobile telecommunication platforms and enhanced the top of the mind awareness of your brand to the Ugandan populace while making billions of shillings in royalty fees in the process,” says in part Kaweesa’s demand notice through Muwema and Company Advocates also copied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.
“It is the reason we hold that the politico-commercial value and mileage you extracted from the said song is very substantial and undisputable.”
In his demand notice, the singer claims at first Museveni rejected the idea when suggested to him that he could turn his rhymes into a hip hop song but later accepted the deal before production was made for the song.
He adds that through Fenon Records , a local production house owned by Steve Jean together with other producers and engineers, they added a blend of signature ‘melodies to words’ picked out of Museveni’s speech and infused them with additional studio voices for the chorus and this gave birth to a new song that would later famously be called ‘Another Rap’.
“As a sign of endorsement of the project, you were later consulted on the final edit of the song before it was officially released on the mainstream and social media channels.”
“The song became an instant sensation on the internet, radio and dance clubs and increased both your local and international brand recognition which commanded respectable media attention from ABC News, Wall Street Journal, Voice of America, Daily Mail and Telegraph among others.”
He explains that the song provided the “much needed” antidote to Museveni’s electoral challengers and enhanced his awareness about the Museveni brand and partly contributed to his triumph in the 2011 presidential polls.
Kaweesa cites the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2006 that allows him to won the song but notes that since the president authorised the creation and production of the musical works, he can only seek for payment for the work he did.
“Our client considers that it would be unfair to take away the copyright ownership of this song from you at this stage and will therefore be seeking the cancellation of its copyright registration which is in your names, unless it becomes necessary.”
“In the matter, our client maintains that it is legal, just and equitable that he together with the production crew which includes Henry Kiwuwa, Robert Ssegawa, and Steve Jean be paid adequate remuneration or compensation for the creation and production of the said song,” says Kaweesa through his lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates.
He demands a total sum of five billion shillings or a “positive” response from the president within ten working days from the receipt of the demand note.
Photo courtesy of the Observer