Award-winning musician Master KG has been slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit for the global-acclaimed hit Jerusalema.
Presley Lebogang Ledwaba, known by his stage name Biblos, and Charmza the DJ, born Ntimela Chris Chauke, have approached the high court in Pretoria to fight for what they believe is theirs.
According to court documents seen by Sunday World, Jerusalema was created by Chauke at Master KG’s house in 2019. He allegedly created the composition, beats, melody, stems and separates, and the arrangement of the work. The piece allegedly belongs to Eish Sound Recording owned by Ledwaba.
“The second plaintiff [Chauke] was the first owner and remains the owner of copyright in the Jerusalema music work,” read the court papers.
The papers state that when Chauke was creating the song, he visited Master KG to work on a different music project that was unrelated to the song.
Singer Nomcebo Zikode was then invited to the house for vocals of the audio, including the penning of lyrics for the unrelated works, which both Chauke and Master KG felt would better suit Jerusalema.
“Since August 2019, the first defendant [Master KG] alternatively Open Mic, alternatively the first defendant and Open Mic acting jointly and in concert have, without the consent of the plaintiffs, exploited the plaintiffs’ copyright works for commercial gain and in so doing have infringed copyright in those works.
“Since August 2019, the first defendant alternatively Open Mic, alternatively the first defendant and Open Mic acting jointly and in concert have, without the consent of the first plaintiff and in breach of the first plaintiff’s performer’s rights: broadcast, transmitted and/ or communicated to the public the Eish Sound Recording [song] without paying the plaintiff a royalty,” read the court papers.
The song has made a number of copies with different features, including “unlawful music video”. Ledwaba and Chauke demand that Master KG deliver all master sound recordings that contain the infringing copies and to no longer make any copies of the sound.
He is also asked to pay damages suffered by the plaintiffs and to pay costs of the court application.