Years after his smash hit, ‘One Time’ was first released, rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes is still facing a copyright lawsuit regarding the 1980’s track he sampled for the song that was first lodged in 2016.
According to a report published by Sowetan Enos Thembinkosi Lubisi, one of the members of an 80s group called Future, claims that AKA’s ‘One Time’ was adapted from his hit song, Party Weekend.
Sony Music South Africa is also involved in the case because Lubisi alleges that they are trying to hijack the copyrights of the song by claiming that he signed over its rights to them.
Lubisi has since filed papers at the South Gauteng High Court and asked the court to declare him the sole copyright-holder of both songs due to the fact that never gave anyone any permission to rework the song nor did he sign away his rights to it.
Daily Sun once reported on AKA admitting to using some of Lubisi’s work and offered to apologise to him for not crediting the 68-year-old producer. In the same report, AKA claimed that he wanted to credit the producer, but struggled to locate him.
Despite the drama, Lubisi told Daily Sun that he loved what AKA did with his version of the song, stating “I like the way he sings. His song reminds me of the music made in the ’80s. I am pretty impressed with him. But next time he must give credit where it is due.”
The pair eventually met and Lubisi stated that he and AKA entered into an agreement with Universal Music South Africa to share the proceeds generated by AKA’s song in terms of violation of his copyright.
The agreement was later reneged on after Sony Music South Africa approached Universal and claimed that the song belonged to them and that Lubisi signed over the song to MINC. According to Sony, MINC ceded all their rights to EMI, which was eventually taken over by Sony. Lubisi denies this, stating that he had never dealt with any of the aforementioned companies before.
Universal Music’s Managing Director, Ryan Hill, told Sowetan that they were under the impression that Lubisi had reached an agreement to give the artist 60% of the composer rights to the track. Hill went on to add, “this was signed by Universal and AKA and was sent to Sony for their [perusal] and Lubisi’s signature. Universal has not been advised by anybody that the dispute was not resolved.”
Sony Music’s legal department said they did not receive any court papers and could not comment.
Main image credit: instagram.com/akaworldwide by Austin Malema