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Archive for the tag “Musicians”

Pharrell and Thicke’s lines wasn’t ‘Blurred’ on “Blurred Lines” as the Court’s verdict awards Gaye’s Estate $4m in damages!

thicke-gaye

Well, Copyright infringement is a tricky thing, especially with something as soft as sound and audio. That musicians are taking each other’s vibes and play into their own creations isn’t new. The music is inspired and often in modern popular music they sample music that the composer together with producers pays for licencing. One of the most popular in my time we’re when Jay-Z and Dame Dash got the rights to use Annie Sample on Hard Knock Life:

“Jay-Z gained permission to use the “Hard Knock Life” sample by writing a letter to the musical’s composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin expounding on his childhood love of the show, having won a ticket to see it on Broadway as a prize in an essay-writing competition at his hard-knock Bedford-Stuyvesant school. The letter was, he later admitted, an “exaggeration”. In fact the rapper came across the hip-hop version, by producer Mark “the 45 King” James, at a rap show and bought it for a rumoured $10,000” (Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, 2015).

What was done in Jay-Z famous single for the ‘Hard Knock Life’ he got permission and also seek to gain permission to use the sample of the song in his own creation. Something that even wasn’t in mind between the parties in the litigation between Marvin Gaye’s estate and the Thicke Parties; as the Copyright infringement case that been running ever since the “Blurred Lines” became a hit in 2013. This was now a concluded case in the courts on the 22nd December 2016. Where the judgement and the jury came to a verdict where the Thicke Parties we’re at fault as per explained underneath. That both musical specialist and legal experts denies the claims of the Thicke’s as they does not see it as coincidence that “Blurred Lines” sounds so similar to “Give To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye.

“In 1976, Motown legend Marvin Gaye composed and recorded in studio his #1 dance and funk hit “Got To Give It Up” (“Give”). ER2238. The song, dubbed by Oprah Winfrey the greatest dance song ever, has endured for the forty years since it was created. SER856. In early 2013, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke discussed writing a new song. See SER856, SER858. In multiple public statements they were candid about the fact that Give and Marvin Gaye were at the top of their minds in creating their song “Blurred Lines” (“Blurred”)” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 17, 2016).

“The amicus brief strays far outside the record, makes unsupported generalization about the music at issue, and is apparently uninformed by the actual trial testimony, including the fact that Williams and Thicke disavowed the idea that they wished to create an “homage” to Marvin Gaye. It also bears mentioning that of the 212 signatories to that brief, several are not “songwriters, composers, musicians, [or] producers” at all, but rather music business executives such as talent managers, attorneys, and other representatives. In addition, more than half (by our count, based on public information) are either clients of the Thicke Parties’ trial counsel, have recorded or are credited on albums with Williams, or have another business relationship with one or more of the Thicke Parties. This web of connections is not disclosed in the amici’s statement of interest” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 22, 2016).

“Thicke made many similar statements in video and radio interviews, e.g., telling an interviewer that Give is “one of my favorite songs of all time, I went in [to the studio] and [said] ‘you know Pharrell I’d love to make something like this, you know feel like ‘Got to Give it Up’ and [Pharrell] started with the percussion you know trying to get that rhythm and then the song actually happened we did the whole record in about an hour.” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 27, 2016).

Songs similarities:

“Finell testified that nearly every one of the 130 bars of Blurred contains at least one of the elements of Give that appears in the lead sheet. ER666. The numerous common elements and the way they interrelated with each other created a “constellation” of similarities she found “stunning” and “highly unusual.” ER581–82. For example, the “heartbeat” of the song—the interlocking bass and keyboard—“drove each song.” ER559. She identified seven elements found in both Blurred and the lead sheet: the signature phrase, the hook, “Theme X,” the bass melody, the keyboard rhythms and chords, word painting, and the parlando/rap section” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 34, 2016). “[O]ut of the four notes from the Give hook and four notes from Blurred, three are identical in their scale degrees.” ER600-01. The hook of Give repeats 12 times within the lead sheet and the hook in Blurred repeats 14 times. ER602. The four-note hook melody in Give contains scale degrees 6- 1-2-1; the four-note hook melody in Blurred contains scale degrees 6-1-1-1. SER868-70. Finell also testified that the rhythmic placement is similar in that two of the notes are before and two are after the bar lines in each song“ (United States Court of Appeals, P: 36, 2016).

“In an attack on this testimony, ten musicologists have filed a brief that purports to start the analysis from scratch, with a very crabbed interpretation of the lead sheet and assertions unconstrained by the record or tested by any form of cross examination. App. Dkt. 20. To the extent it merits any consideration, this amicus brief at most shows that experts may regarding substantial similarity, creating a triable issue of fact” (United States Court of Appeals, P: 40, 2016).

Jury conclusion:

“We will not second-guess the jury’s application of the intrinsic test.” Three Boys, 212 F.3d at 485. Regardless, the trial record here more than adequately supports the District Court’s conclusion that it “cannot be found, that the jury’s conclusion that the two works have intrinsic similarity was against the clear weight of the evidence.” ER29” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 79, 2016).

Gaye’s estate get damages:

“The Gayes accepted the District Court’s remittitur of the jury’s award of $4 million in actual damages to $3,188,527.50 and its remittitur of the jury’s award of $1,610,455.31 in profits against Williams to $357,630.96” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 86 ,2016). “Based on her analysis applying industry custom and practice and her vast experience, Stern concluded the use of Give by Blurred would have resulted in a 50% licensing fee being granted to the Gayes if a license had been negotiated before release of Blurred” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 89, 2016).

T.I. also liable:

“It is undisputed that Harris and the Interscope Parties were part of the chain of distribution for Blurred. This includes Harris’s role as a owner of the copyright who authorized the distribution. It follows that if Blurred infringed the Gayes’ copyright, which the jury found it, Harris and the Interscope Parties were liable as a matter of law” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 95, 2016).

Jury award Gaye’s estate:

Here the jury’s award of actual damages and lost profits to the Gayes means the jury necessarily found that Blurred infringed the Gayes’ copyright. Only confusion as to which parties bore the responsibility for that infringement can explain its failure to find Harris and the Interscope Parties liable. The District Court reasonably concluded that failure to give an instruction clearly defining the scope of distributor liability caused the inconsistent verdicts, and that the verdicts could be corrected in a way that followed both the law and the jury’s intent” (United States Court of Appeal, P: 96,2016).

So one of the biggest producers of our times have got a verdict of copy infringement of used material in this case, use of a song from Marvin Gaye; which happen to create one of the biggest hits of 2013. Pharrell Williams as the Producer of the beat, Robin Thicke as the main singer and with feature of T.I. or Clifford Harris Jr. that we’re all part of the hit song. The one song that both Pharrell and Williams claimed to be inspired by Gaye, still the song after analysing and use of musical expertise show how similar the tracks are.

Later after the first litigations that lead to this and after first verdicts of copyright infringement he told the press this: “Thicke had a great answer for his GQ interview, telling the lawyer, “With all due respect, I was high and drunk every time I did an interview last year.” In fact, Thicke said, “Every day, I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day and then I would fill up a water bottle with vodka and drink it before and during my interviews.” Robin says he’s now drug free, telling the Gaye family lawyer, “I’ve been sober for the last 2 months … When your wife leaves you, it gives you good reason to sober up.” (TMZ, 2014). So the musician now tries to deflect the facts of how they we’re inspired to make the track, now that the process we’re in action than he was a drinking and doped artist who didn’t know what he was saying. His lifestyle we’re blurry to take responsibility for the inspiration behind the blurred lines hit. Which is a beautiful feature, but doesn’t make the courts sing and dance; the evidence and the affidavits do.

So the verdict of the Ninth Circuit Court of California clearly followed the line of the musicians taking inspiration, we’re doing more than so and didn’t licence the rhymes and beat of the Marvin Gaye “Got To Give It Up” when making the “Blurred Lines”. If the guilty party who is under Thicke Parties had asked for permission and licenced by the Gaye’s estate like Recording Artist do all the time. They use their Recording Companies and their legal teams together with publishing agents who fix the use of a sample to create new songs. That shouldn’t be new for either party in the Thicke Party. Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. has all been on records that are sampled and has gotten permission to use parts of other tracks into making a new hit record.

The same could been done by the men behind “Blurred Lines” instead they tried to copy somebody else’s work without permission and without licence. If they had offered in advance 50% on royalty on sales the Recording of the hit song would been fine and fixed. Instead they wanted to legally battle the Gaye’s Estate. Something they righteously lost. Peace.

Reference:

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT – ‘PHARRELLWILLIAMS, MOREWATER FROM NAZARETH PUBLISHING, INC. VS. FRANKIE CHRISTIAN GAYE, ET AL’ (22.12.2016) – Appeal From Judgment Of The United States District Court For The Central District Of California (Hon. John A. Kronstadt, Presiding).

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney – ‘The Life of a Song: ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ (10.04.2015) link: https://www.ft.com/content/fbf3bec4-ce64-11e4-86fc-00144feab7de

TMZ – ‘I WAS TOO WASTED ON VICODIN To Write ‘Blurred Lines’ (15.09.2014) link: http://www.tmz.com/2014/09/15/robin-thicke-drugs-blurred-lines-alcohol-vicodin-marvin-gaye/

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Press Statement on Violence against Female Dancer by Koffi Olomide at the JKIA (22.07.2016)

Kenya PR Statement 22.07.2016 Koffi

Koffi kicked out: Congolese musician Koffi Olomide deported (Youtube-Clip)

“Congolese musician Koffi Olomide is awaiting deportation. This comes after he was arrested outside citizen studios last night. The events that raised an online uproar and the attempt by the musician to quieten the storm” (Kenya Citizen TV, 2016).

Footage of Koffi Olomodi kicking the dancer at JKIA!

“Koffi Olomide kicking one of his dancers minutes after landing at JKIA. He has a show at Bomas of Kenya tomorrow. (Karanga photo! ‪#‎Ekotikee‬)” (Mate Habib, 2016)

Mzee had today a weak campaign rally at MUBS (Nakawa, Kampala) today; As the crowd left when the musicians done playing! (Footage of it!)

A Politician that people is tired of, as we saw in Isigniro where the public and locals went in the middle of Mzee speech. The Youth of Makerere University Business School (MUBS) or Nakawa and locals, went away from the campaign rally today when they had seen and listen to Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool; then they we’re ready to take a Sambusa or rollex in town instead of listening to the same old pledges of the President. This should be a worrying side for NRM as the YOUTH doesn’t eat his words and pledges, instead they comes for free music and entertainment, not HIM! Or his National Resistance Movement…

How did the NRM get people there today:

“People of Nakawa division a suburb of Kampala City today got a share of the taxes they pay when the Ugandan dictator Yoweri Kaguta Museveni went to campaign in their constituency.  Not only empty yellow buses were moving around carrying people to Makerere University Business School but also taxis were moving all over the division. This time it was clearly seen when these vehicles were making stop overs in various places carrying people to MUBS the center of campaign for Mu7 today.  Each time a person enters the vehicle, he or she is given 10,000/=(Ten thousand Uganda shilling cash)”. 

Yellow Buses Luweero 081115 NRM

(A rumor) I don’t know is true but:

The NRM owns 148 Buses and has 15 Trucks to ferry people under their “NRM Bus Company” or “NRM Transport Limited”. As their main business since Nomination Day in November 2015 has been Voter Tourism. What does the people say? Peace.

 

Kampala’s renegade Police shuts down Lukwago speech of awareness

Lukwago 30.11.15

Today I will talk about the Kampala Capital City Authoriy and Kampala Metropolitian Police… they doesn’t have it easy, because they have a painful history with a Mr. Erias Lukwago, he happen to be loved by the people. That kind of people is not the Police or the leaders of KCCA who is chosen by the NRM. Erias Lukwago is far from NRM and is a strong supporter and ally of Dr. Kizza Besigye and the FDC, even if he has been affiliated with Democratic Party (DP). Norbert Mao is now a part of Go-Forward Umbrella, so surely DP is not a strong unit. That is why that Erias Lukwago goes independent and the DP need a new candidate to run for the Mayor in Kampala. Let’s take a look what the Police done today in the Central Business District of Kampala. Take a look!

Erias Lukwago message this morning:

“There’s a Luganda adage that ”Bwekataligilya elibiika amasumba”; literary meaning that if a chicken survives the claws and talons of hawks or other predators, there are high prospects that it will lay golden eggs. Kindly be part of a memorable occasion today at Nakasero Market Park yard at 2:00pm as we unveil the golden egg (vision) for the transformation of Kampala. I strongly believe that it’s only a shared vision, rather than personal whims, that will transform Kampala into a modern capital city we all crave for. Hope to see you there”.

UPF bans the incumbent Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago from having a 2nd Inaguraral rally in Nakasero claiming the venue is for small the rally and will disprut the trading at the Nakasero Market. It would also be inconvenient for the traffic passing by and should look for another venue to have the rally. Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango said: “We have been informed that he intends to hold a rally at Nakasero market but it is illegal and will not be permitted. The venue is not suitable because it is a market in the city centre that attracts many people, which would paralyze business,”He also said: “the youth to desist from participating in the unlawful rally saying those arrested will be taken to the court of law”.

DP Camp Kampala Erias Lukwago Support 30.11.15

Even if the Police suspend the rally at Nakasero Market Park Yard the Erias Lukwago went there anyway despite to block this rally. There were also plans of Mulwana Team to escort them and support Erias Lukwago during his rally there. Today was the day that Erias Lukwago was supposed to introduce his manifesto for the 2016 Mayoral Election.

I am sure that Erias Lukwago is struggling because he is now running independently, but has support of the Forum for Democratic Change as becoming Mayor of Kampala again.

Issa Mayoral Candidate

But the new Democratic Party Mayoral Candidate Issa Kikungwe launched his own campaign today as well, but that wasn’t stopped by the Police like Erias Lukwago rally, the Candidate Kikungwe held a rally in Kawempe.

Ragga Dee Daniel

While this has happen Daniel Kazibe known as Ragga Dee who has been voted to be the NRM Mayoral Candidate of Kampala has said this:

“am not pleased with how Bebe Cool has handled issues regarding the artist’s money from the President as some of the fellow artists on that project are still claiming for their shares. Have you accounted how much funds Bebe Cool spent for his wife’s maternity fees last week and he is currently in South Africa shooting a video? Bebe Cool should responsibly come out and account for the shares to his fellow artists because it’s officially confirmed that he received the funds from the president’s office”.

Bebe Cool Hummer

Bebe Cool retorted:

“I wonder why people always try to attack me, Ragga Dee said that I am greedy but the fact is, he is greedier than me. Let him not fool you that it’s him who got the Tubonge project, it’s me. I heard him saying that he took me to State House. I used to go to State House even when I was young and Museveni is like my uncle, so let him stop talking about what he doesn’t know, he may lose the elections”.

Ragge Dee wants to this if he wins the elections:

“I will first give musicians lessons on how to work together for a general cause and promote one love”.

Daniel Kazibe aka Ragga Dee held his first rally in town yesterday without making any fuzz or having any problems with the fuzz. There must be something behind that! Wait, yes it is, he is a NRM guy, and therefore he can as he pleases, while the others have to fight to the same. That is democracy right now in Uganda!

It seems okay for Mr Kikungwe who can hold his rally, because he is seen not as threat to the KCCA and NRM, or am I wrong? Or is it because there is now official not written law that it’s illegal to hold rallies in a Market in Kampala? Can the UPF and Kampala Metropolitan Police; please explain to a brother; why he is not really permitted? Can it be the most used law of 2015; no not the Tax-Evation laws! Nah it’s not cool enough! I am talking about  the POMA, the famous and most used law by IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura! Public Order Management Act, I am sure that used to stop Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago? Because he creates chaos for his popularity in stark contrast to the NRM-Candidate or other Opposition figures. Right? Yes, I am right!

Asuman Kiyingi

Even Asuman Kiyingi [of the NRM] the State Minister of Works said this during November about the Kampala Mayoral Elections:

“On this one I agree with Ragga Dee. You can’t do a wedding and then go for kwanjula. Or ask a class teacher to become a class prefect. How did we end up with a flag bearer for a position that we were not sure we needed. We should have spared our people the rancour and hussle of primaries if we planned a mayor elected from councillors. Just how far should we go to fix Erias Lukwago?”

For those who wonders why there is not an official endorsed Mayoral Candidate in Kampala from the FDC, that is because they has gone behind Erias Lukwago to show support for his candidature against the powerful NRM-Regime and also thanks for his loyalty towards Dr. Kizza Besigye which Lukwago has been behind since ‘Walk to Work’ riots in Kampala. So the sorry man in this tale is the Mayoral Candidate for FDC Miles Rwamiti Apuuli who will not be a man who you can vote for, since his candidacy has been pulled.

That means that the elections for Mayor will be Daniel Kazibe aka Ragga Dee (NRM), Erias Lukwago (Independent) and Issa Kikungwe (DP). The Police will be against Erias Lukwago which they have proven again, and again! And again, they hate that he stand against the Kampala Metropolitan Police and Kampala Capital City Authority, not to forget Jennifer Musisi thinks it easier to work without the annoying politicians, especially the likes of Lukwago who makes everything hard to put through, I think that is because he is one of them who wishes to have a loyal crony like Daniel Kazibe who can’t even hold his tongue and win a discussion with the numb-nuts of Bebe Cool, who dances like a fool on every stage for Mzee and his NRM. The money is good for them both while Issa and Erias will fight against the musician.

Backup History (recent) on Daniel Kazibe: 

For those of you have forgotten part of his past. Had in 2014 his own Mercedes Benz impounded by the URA (Uganda Revenue Authority), the musician had at that time forgotten to pay tax. Therefore until he could pay the missing funds of Shs. 1,5 Million to pay URA before he get his car back again. Also in 2014 the same Ragga Dee was reported to be part of the campaign for National ID cards and eating a great chunk of that fund, the fund that got missing remember? Well, Ragga Dee who had now eaten a big chunk by the fund for the National ID cards advertisement; which never happened… That is not the end of the eating money from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he was after this supposed to eat more money from it for making a recording which would be used to mesmerized the late Gen. Aronda Nyakarima. How much the whole tale cost the Tax Payer, will hopefully be released or found out. 2014 was a busy year for Daniel Kazibe.

Now we see how the UPF, Kampala Metropolitan Police and Electoral Commission work for making the campaign for Erias Lukwago as hard as possible. They are trying to stop it and make it harder than for other candidates trying to become mayor in Kampala. So this will continue because we all know the NRM-Regime and their “Freedom loving” Police, who is not “impartial” or “working against” any opposition member or party in general during these elections. No! No! No! They are not doing that… They are just showing care for the dangers that a rally of an opposition candidate will have at the Central parts of Kampala and will disturb business district of the City. Something that is dangerous to do… Wonder if it would be stopped if it was Daniel having a campaign rally at the same place? I don’t think so. Peace.

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