Few hours ago, news spread like wild fire that Kelly Hansome was arrested by police on Monday due to a Copyright infringement charge levelled against him by Mo-Hits records. In a swift turn of events, Kelly’s PR team has come forward to deny the allegations.
Here’s the statement issued by Kelly Hansome’s management:
“Rumor has it that Yesterday October 24 2011, Kelechi Orji aka Kelly Hansome was arrested concerning the copyright of Tuface featuring D’banj “FEELIN GOOD” Freestyle Remix. Sources confirm that was not true, Kelly Hansome was not arrested but only simply asked to appear at the local police station. Kelly Hansome’s lawyer was supposed to meet up with a member of Mo-Hits Records to resolve the Copyright issue, but instead the issue ended up at the Police Station. The Lawyer was asked to request the presence of Kelly, which he immediately did, and Kelly obliged, coming down to the station with another lawyer who was sent by KEYOEMO (EFCC Official Lawyer).
Kelly was asked to sign documents stating he will take down the song from the internet and elsewhere; this was after it was proven that Mo-Hits had the legal rights to the said song. The issue is now resolved. A Kelly Hansome Representative will be dropping a video in a few hours in regards to this matter. KELLY HANSOME WAS NEVER ARRESTED!!”
Is Kelly Hansome doing this just to save face or is someone running a smear campaign?
Who do you believe?
‘My 2 Cents worth’ on the Copyright spat between Dbanj and Kelly Hansome.
I like many others ‘Like’ don Jazzy on my facebook page and so was privy to the news of what was going on between Don Jazzy and Kelly Hansome.
This morning Don Jazzy posted on his wall that Kelly Hansome was arrested and the bail set at N800,000 before he was bailed he (Kelly Hansome ) signed an undertaking that he would cease and desist from using the track.
For some that may seem as a victory and an admitting of guilt but in the Copyright law it is so far from the case. The Copyright laws worldwide including the one in Nigeria is divided into two types of infringement – primarily infringement and secondary infringement. The one that applies in this case is primarily infringement where the alleged infringer ( or thief) is said to be another creative person,( here a singer composer) and where there are two works in existence, Dbanjs and Kelly Hansomes .
As in all of the courts worldwide including in the States here is how it works, the claims come to a civil or a copyright court where three things happens. See Nigerian copyright Act here : http://www.nigeria-law.org/CopyrightAct.htm
The defendant/claimant must prove that they created it first –by showing copyright registrations , evidence of creating it at a time that they did so, ( incidentally in this case it may be that Dbanj created it on the 3rd of September and Kelly wrote his on the 13th , then it can be said that Dbanj wrote his first. Evidence of this is needed in courts such as Copyright Registrations, or dated and logged evidence which are tamper proof.
In the States no copyright case comes to court without it having been shown that it was registered either with the Writers Guild of America or with the USA Copyright Office ) http://www.copyright.gov/
2. The Claimant ( the person filing the claiming and claiming to be the original creative) must also seek to establish access to their works – how the defendant got hold of their work and copied it, e.g when they came to their studio or eg 2 one of the studio workers admitted they gave it to the defendant etc
3. The creative works must be tested for infringement to see if there is any similarities between the two works and if the two works are infact the same in the case of out right theft where they did not even bother to disguise any similarities between the two works and to do so the Judge needs to carry these things out . Listen to both tracks and see if they are similar or indeed the same work. If 3 or 4things are similar then it can be said that infringement exists between both works. In music one would have to take into considerations the musical arrangements and structure of the track before arriving at that conclusion.
These three things are needed to be established in a court of law to show that the other side infringed on ones work. Of course there are instances where access is a moot subject , what is crucial of course is original creation and who owns the original creation.
I was shocked to learn that Kelly Hansome was put in jail without it having come to trial as it does not establish the desired fact that Dbanj was the original creative in this instance or that Kelly Hansome stole it.
The case is of primary infringement where there is a possibility (as they are both musicians and created works that) Kelly wrote the track if Kelly had been a t.v station that played the Dbanj track without permission or payment then it could be a case of theft and penalty of theft which is currently imprisonment as it is clear that they did not create the song and they used it without permission and or payment. Another example of secondary infringement is where the DVD /CD is copied ( pirated) and sold etc then it is cut and dried.
My concern now is what if Kelly Hansome should counter sue Dbanj and his record label? ( this option he has ) for wrongful arrest and imprisonment and for getting him to sign under duress..( would he have signed if he had not been imprisoned – nope he would not have signed) and other lawsuits could follow, e.g wanting to trash his name and image etc. My plea would be for Dbanj to repay the bail money that Kelly H paid and a compensation for wrongfully imprisoning him and then maybe seek to recover his creative rights at another time maybe next year when this incident is water under the bridge. There is nothing to stop Kelly Hansome from suing him at home or abroad.
Elizabeth Obisanya lectures on Copyright , Copyright Infringement and is a Christian Film maker /Lobbyist living in London. She is currently in court with her own copyright infringement case at the High Court – London