But Is Charles Charamba Right in Claiming Copyright Against Jah Signal When the 2 Songs Are Miles Apart?
16 February 2024
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PUBLIC STATEMENT ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF JAH SIGNAL’S SONGS ON YOUTUBE We have noted the YouTube striking down of Jah Signal’s songs, “Shinga Muroora” and “Tengai Mafuta”. We are alive to the various reactions and also requests by some media houses on our response to the same. We wish to set the record on this matter.

1. Sometime in 2018 Jah Signal released his song, “Shinga Muroora”. The song was a rendition of our own song, “Kana vanhu vangu,” which we released in 2001.

2. We got to know about the song when it was sent through WhatsApp by his manager who was asking for our permission. After listening to the song, we were so concerned about the changing of original lyrics into romantic words. We declined the proposal through text as well. We mentioned that the changing of meaning brought to the song was not good for a song known to be Gospel. We found it blasphemous and mockery. In no time the song was released. There was a very clear infringement of copyright laws.

3. We were naturally not pleased, but chose not to raise issue with this. We accepted the reality and moved on. We did not even wish to get any payment for this. This remains our position to date, we do not want any share of royalties or damages. We also communicated to ZIMURA that we were not interested with sharing monies with the artist. Furthermore, have no desire to sue Jah Signal, he’s our son, just like many other young artists.

5. We had no plans to act after six (6) years. A few months ago, (September 2023), Jah Signal released another song called ‘Tengai Mafuta”. The song is a remix of “Tengai Mafuta” by Mai Charamba. Just like “Shinga Mumma”, it’s about romantic overtones. Though we had been doing the clean-up on our music for the past three years, we had spared “Shinga Muroora “on the basis that it had made too many views. The further infringement on ‘Tengai Mafuta” prompted us to act on both songs and other “infringing songs” which had been spared for a long time.

6. No consent was sought, no consent was granted and for us this was a very clear infringement of copyright laws. For both songs, he did not acknowledge the original composer which is the norm. There’s also a breach of moral rights.

7. We are not more special than anyone in God’s eyes. Any can ask for our song if they want reproduce it just like what Dr Tawanda has done to •Tauya Kuzomutenda”. We do not claim to own any word from the Bible but we have rights to the melodies on which those words sit.it is allowed for all pf us to sing the same verse of the Bible, it is God’s Word.

8. Music is now a technological product that is controlled and monitored by various software that scan the various platforms. Abuses and copyright infringements are flagged and action is sometimes taken even without the awareness of the owner.

9. YouTube has its laws and regulations regarding copyright infringements on its platform and ways in which these are addressed. We also strive to follow them. The same platform offers opportunities to appeal if one feels otherwise.

10. As elders we wish Jah Signal well in his life and in his career. We have no desire to see him fail. We have never declined engagement with him. We are currently making efforts to avoid a third strike even afters we noticed his channel still has the infringed songs. We are keen to communicate or engage him so that we can together protect his channel from being closed.

11. We would urge fellow artists and music managers to always guard against copyright infringement, seek and obtain consent, acknowledge copyrights. This will always avoid complications that may arise or wrong perceptions.

12. Though we have been misunderstood by some people, we are hopeful that no one among our blessed youths will ever be sued for cases like these. We shall also undertake to do some teachings on related subjects. Musicians are also encouraged to attend music workshops so that they can exchange knowledge with others.

13. We have not been cruel to Jah Signal. We have actually been victim to copyright infringement. As mentioned, we are working to avoid another pending strike which may cause his channel to be deleted.

14. We are sincerely sorry to those who don’t understand the copyright law, we are trusting that they will grasp the concepts in the future. Be that as it may we pray for success for Jab Signal and in his career. We love him wholeheartedly. May God bless us all.

15. For any clarity, engagement or further understanding you are free to reach us on’ h hseLsohumocl ff • . or our legal advisor, Mr. P. Musendo on +263 773 204 802