Veteran Nigerian Hip Hop artist, Zakki Azzay accuses Sarkodie and Mr Eazi of copyright infringement

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A veteran Nigerian Hip Hop artist, Zakki Azzay has accused Sarkodie and Mr Eazi of copyright infringements. According to him the two lifted lines from his 1996 song ‘Marry Am’ in the newly released Sarkodie featuring Mr Eazi hit, ‘Do You’.

He posted on Instagram: “Hello @Sarkodie & @MrEazi , this is to let you know that my song “Marry Am” has been lifted in your newly released single “Na You”. I released the monster hit way back in 1996, and i want to believe that you guys should know the consequences of copyright infringements.

This is a massive violation of my musical copyright dues and the illegal exploitation of my intellectual property as i haven’t been contacted for permission/approval for the lyrics of my song to be used.

It’s high time African Artistes wake up to know that copyrights violations/infringements is stealing&theft and hence a big crime.

My next next line of actions will be made private for now…. THANK YOU!!!”

The most important concept in music copyright law is that each single piece of recorded music involves two distinct rights:

  • The first right protects the underlying musical composition—that is, the specific arrangement and combination of musical notes, chords, rhythm, harmonies, and song lyrics. The law refers to this first type of copyright as a “musical work.” This interest is also sometimes referred to as the “musical composition” or the “song.”
  • The second right protects the actual recording of a musical composition, which copyright law refers to as the “sound recording.” This interest is also sometimes referred to as the “master” or the “recording.

While copyright protection generally arises immediately when a new song is recorded, the new song must be original. That is, the work must be original in the sense of being the creative product of the author’s own efforts. There is no requirement that it be original in the sense of being novel. “Original” means only that the work was independently created and that it possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity. “Originality” doesn’t mean a work of extraordinary genius.

While there are no bright-line rules, some courts have held that rhythm and harmony are generally in the public domain and not “original,” while melody is often determined to be “original” and protected by copyright. And, courts have held that contributions by producers and engineers to the creation of sound recordings, including the processing of sounds and the balancing, equalization, and integrating of vocal and instrumental into a blended whole, can be protected by copyright. On the other hand, musical style (i.e., the style of reggae), themes, or ideas in the abstract are not protected by copyright.

Zaaki Azzay, The Pioneer of Hiphop Music in Nigeria, Started out his career in 1993. He has successfully carved a niche for himself in the Nigerian Music Industry since the inception of his career and has since then been toping the charts even till date. He has recieved countless awards and several nomination and is highly respected, from the young to the old across Nigeria and Africa at large. Often refered to as the Hiphop Legend/Veteran by the media, Zaaki Azzay is still holding the game down tight sending cold chills down the spine of all Up-coming/made acts across the nation sending them back to their home work. His new singles -Catch Fire & Deep Inside from his on-coming album (Speed), are toping charts at the moment. Featuring topmost and hottest acts in the country, expect nothing less than ‘the best’ from this album! Zaaki Azzay as an artiste is largely and easily recognized by his striped black and white head gear and significantly remembered as a torchlight/flashlight bearing artiste. The torchlight symbolizes that Zaaki Azzay is a source of light, positive values and attributes.
Zaaki Azzay is strongly affiliated with the mass media for positive and progressive reasons, therefore a BRAND to associate with in whatever form especially endorsement.
Zaaki Azzay is set to unveil a new venture – The Introduction of Branded Torchlights that will have his name/Photo/Logo Branded on the TorchLight.s “To all my fans out there, One Free Torchlight”. One Love!