Mega Fame Media Productions, a Ghanaian entertainment company, has sued Taabea Television (formerly Trust TV), demanding a whooping $200,000 in damages for infringing on the copyright of the latter at the Kumasi High Court.
The CEO of Mega Fame, Ralph Asante said his decision to drag the popular Television network to court was due to the failed mediation by the culprit over stealing an edutainment song belonging to the production company and using it to promote a program on Taabea TV.
The court papers sighted by Kasapafmonline.com indicate that Taabea TV’s Youth In Agriculture program called ‘Telefarm’ had registered the song as their own intellectual property.
The Television station had also published the song along with ‘Telefarm’ widely, on many platforms, including a monetized YouTube channel where it had generated traffic and raked in money for them.
According to Mega Fame CEO, over several months that Taabea TV had used the song to harvest cash, it had not bothered to even acknowledge the owners of the intellectual rights covering the song.
Youth in Agriculture, is an edutainment piece that Mega Fame Production, which specializes in using music to promote national causes, recorded in 2011 to whip up the interest of Ghanaian youth in Agriculture.
The effort towards promotion of Agriculture comes after a successful promotion of blood donation by the same Mega Fame in a similar fashion, for which Mega Fame won an award.
In undertaking the project, the CEO had hired the services of a Ghanaian reggae artist based in Germany and a producer from the UK, where Mr. Asante had been domiciled for some time.
The production company had also contracted a technical crew that included Italians and Germans, along with actors who had been recruited to shoot the video for the project. According to information available, some of the scenes in the video had been shot in Zambia.
In total, the whole project had cost $200.000 to complete and Mega Fame had had plans to promote the concept at the United Nations.
However, while Mr. Asante was in Europe working on contacts to get the project promoted to the UN, Taabea TV, formerly Trust TV, suddenly started using the song on its channel for a program called “Telefarm,” for which it is said to have sought and secured sponsorship.
In addition to airing it on its channel, Taabea TV had also published “Telefarm,” along with “Youth in Agriculture” as promotional soundtrack on social media. It is said that “Telefarm” and the soundtrack had run for several months on Youtube as well.
Mega Fame Media lodged a complaint with the Copyright Office in Accra, which summoned a response from Taabea TV.
In its response, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, owner of the station, had refused to appear, but sent a lower level staff who traveled down from their Kumasi base to the Copyright Office in Accra.
At the meeting, legal ownership of the intellectual rights to the song was proven to the Taabea TV representative, after which, Megafame Media demanded a reimbursement of the $50,000 that it had spent on the project by way of payment for copyright penalty.
The Taabea TV representative had then pleaded that he was just a lower level staff and would therefore need to report back to his boss, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman.
Weeks after that, the General Manager of Taabea TV, Daniel Yeboah, wrote a letter to Megafame Media, acknowledging the abuse of Megafame’s copyright to the “Youth in Agriculture” song and pleading for forgiveness. Beyond this, Taabea did nothing further, not even writing back to the copyright office to give the response promised by its representative at the earlier meeting with Megafame.
In May 2017, a month after the meeting at the Copyright Office in Accra over the issue, Ms Dorothy Habadah, Senior State Attorney at the Copyright office, wrote to Megafame and asked them to commence legal action against Taabea TV after its owners had refused to revert to the copyright office.
However, Kasapafmonline.com’s efforts to reach out to the General Manager of Taabea TV to get their side of the story has proven futile.
Below is the Original music video.