If a company used the Master KG “Jerusalema” dance challenge to exploit their brand, then they may be liable to pay royalties for the sound.
This is according to Dumisani Motsamai, an entertainment lawyer who takes care of legal and business affairs for Open Mic Productions, the company that Master KG is signed to.
In recent statements by the lawyer and in an interview with KFM, Motsamai mentioned that although the dance challenge took the world by storm last year, it was never meant to be used to further businesses’ agendas.
“We have followed the news that Warner International, our partners internationally, has been taken to task by many people on social media, saying 'you guys are being greedy, we are doing this thing because of social [distancing], we are all down because of Covid', and I think it's quite on point.
“But there've been different versions of this challenge.
“There are situations where a child and their family are in their living room and they’re doing the challenge, or they’re outside and doing the challenge.
“ That's perfectly fine. But we’ve seen these challenges taking it a little bit too far, where really, what has been happening here is that people have been pushing their brands," said Motsamai.
He said if the challenge was taken up for private use, for fun or to uplift the nation’s spirits, then parties would not have to fork out money to pay Open Mic, however he said for some of them “it's all about the brand”.
“There has been a thin line. Some of them will show their logo at the beginning and it's all about the dance.
“But others, when you look at them, it's all about the brand, the company that is doing the challenge and little about the challenge.
“Those are the ones that Warner and Open Mic has found,” he added.
He said that Open Mic had identified “quite a few businesses” and would start asking politely for fees.
"We do owe it, not just to Open Mic, but to the people who were part of it. [Open Mic] owns the master, but we also have a duty to pay royalties to the people whose sound is embedded, whose performance is in the master, and in this case it is Master KG and Nomcebo,“ he said.