Below is a press release by one of Nigeria’s top record labels a few years back, November Records, on the Timi Dakolo/Majek Fashek copyright mis-understanding:
‘ In light of the recent statements in the media by Majek Fashek over the cover version of ‘Send down the rain’ remixed by Timi Dakolo a few years ago by Timi Dakolo, the management of November Records wishes to set the records straight.
The company acknowledges that Majek Fashek, having had a long standing relationship with November Records for years as an artiste , gave permission and power of negotiation to the company to act on his behalf in the negotiations with the representative of Mr. Timi Dakolo on securing the rights for Mr Dakolo to produce a cover version of the hit song ‘Send down the rain’. Apart from the permission given by Mr Majek Fashek in the presence of two witnesses, Black Rice (his long time friend and former band mate) and Azuka Jebose Molukwu, a long time friend of Majek and manager of sorts of some of his engagements in the United States, Mr. Fashek was given updates and carried along by the label on the progress of the negotiations from December 2011 to February 2012. Mr Timi Dakolo’s team had respected Artiste Manager, Efe Omorogbe and the late pioneer Entertainment Lawyer, Barrister Efere Ozako.
Negotiations were made after an offer was presented and a sum was agreed upon which was for compensation to Mr. Fashek from Timi Dakolo’s management. This precludes the sundry rights to other copyright stakeholders for the original song such as record label, producer etc. as that was supposed to be under a collecting society. Indeed, we confirm that Mr. Dakolo’s intention was not for the commercial exploitation of the song in question but Mr. Dakolo only wanted to use the song as part of a tribute album with a proposed video to be shot featuring Majek Fashek. An idea that was welcome by all and the terms were agreeable.
Having managed Mr. Fashek for five years in his affairs and concerts in Nigeria since 2005 and he being an artiste under our record company, November Records, the company negotiated and handled the terms of copyright for the brief to a conclusive end and the funds were appropriately paid to the company by Mr. Dakolo for Mr. Fashek in 2012. He was informed of the sum involved and he approved.
We wish to state here that indeed Mr. Dakolo followed due process and perhaps a miscommunication might have been the reason for Majek’s comment that he hadn’t received due royalties for the song.
It’s also possible that there were further terms of royalties to be paid to Majek outside our negotiations when he ceased to be managed by our company that we may not be aware of. But for what was given us as our brief at the time between both parties, it was signed sealed and delivered.
Majek Fashek and Timi Dakolo are two extremely talented artistes, with the elder serving as a source of inspiration to the younger. It is our hope that this miscommunication will not in anyway affect the relationship Mr. Dakolo has with Mr. Fashek and wish to assure the public that the project will see the light of day because a fitting tribute to one of Africa’s great musicians is something which should be encouraged.
We wish both artistes many more years of fruitfulness and success.