Jah Signal and Charambas’ copyright dispute grips music scene


Gospel power couple Baba Charles and Amai Olivia Charamba have clarified that their copyright dispute with dancehall artist Jah Signal is not intended to hinder his musical career. Instead, they aim to shed light on the lack of awareness among artists regarding the laws governing the industry, which often leads to them being short-changed.

The Charambas successfully had Jah Signal’s unauthorized renditions of their two songs removed from YouTube. The songs in question, “Shinga Muroora” and “Tengai Mafuta,” received millions of views on the platform. “Shinga Muroora” is a rendition of Charamba’s 2001 song “Kana Vanhu Vangu” from the album “Exodus,” while “Tengai Mafuta” is a remix of Mai Charamba’s song of the same title from the album “The Gospel” released in 2007.

The Charambas expressed their opposition to Jah Signal’s release of these songs in 2018 and last year, respectively, citing clear infringements of copyright laws. They emphasized that Jah Signal did not seek nor obtain consent and failed to acknowledge the original composers, which is customary. The Charambas also highlighted a breach of moral rights.

In a statement, the Charambas clarified their stance, stating that they do not consider themselves more special than anyone else in God’s eyes. They acknowledged that anyone is free to request permission to reproduce their songs, just as Dr Tawanda did for “Tauya Kuzomutenda.” While they do not claim ownership of any words from the Bible, they assert their rights to the melodies on which those words are set.

As gospel music elders, the Charambas expressed their goodwill towards Jah Signal’s career and emphasized that they have never refused to engage with him. They are currently making efforts to avoid further conflicts and are willing to communicate with Jah Signal to protect his channel from potential closure.

The Charambas urged fellow artists and music managers to be vigilant against copyright infringement, seek and obtain consent when necessary, and acknowledge copyrights. They believe that adhering to these principles will prevent complications and misconceptions from arising.

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