Forgotten musician Ian Lizi has threatened to take legal action against three artists who have remade his hit song Mandede without his permission.
The artist claims the trio of Gemini Major, Charisma and Toast did not seek his consent to reproduce the song he originally released in 2001.
Lizi therefore, sought the intervention of the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) after discussions between the two parties failed to bear fruit.
In an interview, Lizi claimed that besides reproducing parts of the song, the trio also used his image on the promotional online download links of the song, a thing which he said is misleading.
He said: “I have been disturbed with the conduct of the three artists. When I engaged them, they were not cooperative and our engagement did not bear any fruit.
“I believe this is not the right way to approach intellectual property rights as artists. They are trying to make money off my name.”
Lizi indicated that with direction from Cosoma, he is now working on filing an official complaint with the copyright body to seek their intervention.
But the three artists argued that they proceeded to release the song because Lizi could not be traced. They also claimed to have notified Cosoma of their intention to release the song.
A member of the trio, Charisma said Mandede was done last December, but has only been released now as they put in on hold to finish all the necessary procedures before registering it.
He said: “It is not like we wanted to bypass him, but we made our best efforts in trying to contact him and seek his permission. We remain hopeful that a consensus will be reached between us. The problem is that he thinks we are making money out of the song which is not the case.”
Cosoma assistant distribution officer Malumbo Mkandawire confirmed that the process to register the song was indeed initiated, but it was halted after similarities in the two songs were noted.
“Our records show that the song came here for registration, but the process was not completed. We also received a complaint from the originator of the song and we have advised him to write us formally,” he said.
Mkandawire artists from pursuing such issues through the court. He said they will bring the two parties together to try to resolve the issue amicably.
The case in question falls under the Copyright Infringement Act.