Busta 929, Boohle sue Black Brain Pictures over copyright breach

Busta 929 and Boohle, two amapiano sensations, are locked in a legal battle with Black Brain Pictures over the unauthorized use of their hit song Ngixolele.

Sunday World can exclusively reveal that Black Brain Pictures, owned by Mandla Ngcongwane, known as Mandla N, is the target of an R11-million copyright infringement demand from the duo’s record label, Mokima Music.

The copyright to the club banger belongs to Mokima Music, according to court documents submitted to the Johannesburg High Court.

This came about after it inked contracts with Busta 929, whose real name is Thapelo Theo Ndou, and Boohle, born Hlengiwe Buhlebevangeli Ntando Manyathi.

According to the record label, the song was initially released in South Africa on October 29 2021, or thereabouts.

On May 5 2021, Mokima Music and Manyathi entered into a written composer administration agreement for a period of three years with the option of renewal, according to Nokuthula Mvelase, who is representing the company.

Manyathi committed to writing music only for the label, to give Mokima Music all copyrights to the song, and to refrain from granting any rights, under the terms of this agreement, to any other party.

Furthermore, the songbird gave the stable the sole authority to disseminate, perform, and copy her works in public.

Additionally, according to Mokima Music, Manyathi granted it permission to receive all royalties, fees and money obtained from the use of her compositions.

The stable is also entitled to demand that all actions and other legal proceedings pertaining to her compositions be started, continued, settled, abandoned, or defended.

The stable said that on May 1 2021, it signed a written composer administration agreement with Ndou in Johannesburg for a period of five years.

The agreement would automatically be extended for successive terms of one year unless either party terminated it with 60 days’ written notice before the end of the current term.

Mvelase represented the stable in this transaction.

Mokima Music was granted full permission by Ndou to manage his composition. In accordance with this agreement, he further promised not to transfer the rights to any other individual.

On May 6 2021, Mokima Music, through Mvelase, signed a three-year publishing administration contract in Johannesburg with Thupa Industry, a private company with Ndou as its only director.

Thupa gave the stable full administration rights over all of its compositions, including copyrights.

Mokima Music claimed that Black Brain Pictures, the creator of The Black Door, which is screened on e.tv, had violated the stable’s copyright. This occurred when the business purposefully used the song without Mokima Music’s permission.

“Had the plaintiff been approached by the defendant to license the song for synchronised use as the titular theme of the series, the plaintiff would have licensed the song,
[including both the musical work and literary work] for a fee of R40 000 per episode,” read the court papers.

“This would have amounted to a total fee of R11 000 000, being R40 000 multiplied by the 275 episodes.

“Accordingly, the plaintiff has suffered damages in the amount of R11 000 000 as a result of the defendant’s infringement of the copyright in the song.”

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