British Company Denies It Has copyrighted Kenya National Anthem

A British company has released a statement denying it owns the rights to the Kenya National Anthem following a public outcry by Kenyans on social media.

A YouTube channel by the name “2nacheki” was flagged over a video it posted that attempted to rank Africa’s best national anthems.

The claimant of the copyright to Kenya’s anthem was De Wofle Music, a UK based music company.

De Wofle, however, has only copyrighted an arrangement/instrumental of the Kenyan national anthem, as opposed to the one which had been published by ‘2nacheki’ in which there is an actual choir singing along.

The company released a statement specifying which part they have copyrighted in the video circulating.

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) also on Tuesday released a statement clarifying the quagmire, saying that the National Anthem can not be copyrighted because it belongs to the national domain.

“The Kenya copyright board wishes to state it is indeed true that the government has copyright for its commissioned works for up to 50 years. The national anthem is over 50 years and has thus fallen into public domain,” said the body in a statement.

“The alleged claim for copyright by this company or any other to the original rendition of the national anthem cannot therefore be supported.”

The copyright outrage comes just a few months after American company
Walt Disney was rebuked for copyrighting the phrase ‘Hakuna matata’.

Many thought the company copyrighted the two Swahili words in 2018 as it prepared to release the remake of “Lion King” this year, only to find out the word was copyrighted in 1994 when the first edition came out.

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