wame Mickey, OFM Computer Worl, Team Eternity Ghana, Defe Defe
wame Mickey, OFM Computer Worl, Team Eternity Ghana, Defe Defe

Euro-African, Ghanaian record label Debrich Group, brand of OFM Computer World Europe, together with veteran producer Kwame Mickey, has resolved a copyright dispute with gospel group Team Eternity.

The conflict arose a month ago when Team Eternity released the single ‘Defe Defe’, which Kwame Mickey claimed used unauthorised parts of a 2004 song by the Hallelujah Voices group bearing the same title that he produced. OFM then requested YouTube to take down the song till the issue was resolved.

Ghana’s Copyright Act 2005 (Act 690) requires works to be original and fixed in a tangible form to qualify for copyright protection, including derivative works that meet specific creative and permission criteria.

The issue sparked widespread debate, with fellow gospel artists Joe Mettle and Ohemaa Mercy calling for an amicable resolution. Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM recently, Mettle advocated for registering and publishing songs to prevent unauthorised use and preserve old music, promoting its re-recording to safeguard its legacy.

“I also understand the fact that permission needs to be sought, but even the [person] you need to ask [can’t be found]. Sometimes you can search and search, but you won’t find anything. We are losing a lot of songs, so for me, I think even with this Team Eternity issue, they could have just solved it amicably because it wasn’t the whole song, it was a sample.”

“Team Eternity has done well, so Kwame Mickey should forgive them,” Ohemaa Mercy told Hitz FM, another Accra-based station, this week. “There’s no copyright issue here. In our hometown of Kumasi, we use phrases like ‘defe defe’ daily. These are common expressions that may feel borrowed, but they’re part of everyday language.”

On 1 July, OFM Computer World announced in a statement that an agreement had been reached, saying arrangements for splitting the song’s royalties have been finalised.

“The parties have duly entered into a licence agreement under which Kwame Mickey grants to Team Eternity the non-exclusive right to use the words derived from the existing song,” the statement reads.

The arrangement, which grants recognition and compensation to the original creators of ‘Defe Defe’, also now permits Team Eternity to continue promoting their song without a legal tussle.

Discussing the issue in a recent article, Ghanaian lawyer Samuel Appiah Darko noted that the resolution of this case will have broader implications for the music industry in Ghana. “It will set a precedent for how phrases and expressions, particularly those rooted in cultural and religious contexts, are treated under copyright law,” he said. “Additionally, it will influence how new and existing musicians approach the creation and protection of their works.

“The case also underscores the importance of having a more detailed and explicit legal framework for assessing substantial similarity in copyright disputes. Clear guidelines would help creators understand the boundaries of their rights and the limits of permissible use of existing works. This would, in turn, foster a more vibrant and innovative artistic environment, encouraging originality while respecting the rights of existing creators.”

wame Mickey, OFM Computer Worl, Team Eternity Ghana, Defe Defe
wame Mickey, OFM Computer Worl, Team Eternity Ghana, Defe Defe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here