Producer and tech analyst, Kwabena Ofei-Kwadey Nkrumah, popularly known as Spiky, is suing the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for alleged copyright infringement.

In court documents sighted by MyJoyOnline.com, Spiky contended that the football governing board used his musical beat, ‘Okomfo Anokye’, for promotional materials for the 2018 CAF awards without his consent.

Lawyers for Spiky indicated that CAF plagiarised, appropriated and infringed on the producer’s copyright when they failed to acknowledge him as the owner.

“The Plaintiff asserts that, the Defendants’ conduct was in blatant disrespect and disregard for Plaintiff’s proprietary rights in his music and a flagrant and brazen infringement of Plaintiff’s copyright which said acts of Defendants, has caused Plaintiff loss of substantial revenue from any licensing of his music for commercial use,” parts of the documents read.

This comes three years after Spiky called out CAF for copyright infringement in a series of tweets in 2019.

“A young producer, working hard to make ends meet, the least you could do, some sort of remuneration, to motivate and inspire. But no! They just ignored me,” he wrote in his tweets.

In the documents, the producer noted that CAF had sent an email admitting to the infringement and rendering an apology to him, however, they failed to reply when he demanded to be compensated.

Hence among other things, Spiky is seeking, “a declaration that by boldly using Plaintiff’s “SPIKY – OKOMFO ANOKYE” beat/instrumental music for commercial purposes without Plaintiff’s prior consent,
Defendant has flagrantly and brazenly infringed on Plaintiff’s Copyright.”

Also, he is seeking an order for CAF “to account for profit for the commercial use of Plaintiff’s copyrighted work” and also “general damages for the infringement of the Plaintiffs’ copyright by the unauthorized commercial use of the Plaintiff’s “SPIKY – OKOMFO ANOKYE” beat/instrumental music and failure to name Plaintiff as the Copyright owner on the infringing materials and the abuse of Plaintiff’s human rights.”

In its defence, CAF admitted to failing to obtain prior consent for the use of the soundtrack, which was “available online for free download without any restrictions or conditions, to use for the artwork posted on CAF’s social media platforms.” 

But, CAF denied using the soundtrack for commercial purposes, as the awards were a non-profit event.

They stated that they pulled down the artwork with Spiky’s background music from all their social media platforms and apologised on the same day that the plaintiff’s claim came to their attention.

Meanwhile, Spiky in an interview with Music In Africa opened up on why he took the football governing board to court.

“It’s not merely a settlement I’m looking for. My rights need to be vindicated and that’s why I’m in court. Intellectual property is respected in other jurisdictions. They’d be scrambling to settle the issue as fast as possible if it was an international artist, but it’s taken three years,” he said.

The parties are expected in court in October.