Gospel singer, Joyce Blessing felt blessed when she released her Heavy Price album earlier this year but she now stands to pay a heavy price for a song on the album for copyright infringement against Ace A. Ankomah and the evergreen music and evangelistic group, Joyful Way Inc.
The song in question is Nyame Egwamaa and it features Jewel Ackah.
Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah, Lawyers for Ace Ankomah and Joyful Way Inc have written to Joyce Blessing through her management, Media Excel Productions, to “withdraw the infringing song and its corresponding video from the market forthwith, unless and until you have obtained the joint consent of our clients.”
The letter added that “our clients are willing to arrive at an amicable settlement of this matter. However, do not doubt their resolve to exploit all of their legal options, should you refuse to comply with the terms of this letter within seven days of the date thereof.”
The letter was dated October 2 which meant Joyce Blessing had up to yesterday, October 9 to comply with the stated terms.
Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah’s basis for writing to her was that their “clients authored and recorded a song titled W’ahenni To Rentwa Da in 1994, which song is protected by copyright under Ghanaian law.
“Our client’s attention has been drawn to a song titled Nyame Egwaamaa included in the album titled Heavy Price which you recently recorded and are actively distributing throughout the country.
“Our clients state that the infringing song is a reproduction of W’ahenni To Rentwa Da and that they have not authorised you to reproduce the song in any manner or form.”
In a chat with Joyce Blessing, she indicated that she assumed the song was an old Presbyterian tune.
“I knew it from the time I was growing up and have always liked it. I thought it was from the Presbyterian hymnal and that was why I made that acknowledgment in the album notes,” she said.By yesterday as the deadline for Blessing to withdraw the Nyame Egwamaa song and video from the market drew close, her management team led by Kwesi Ennin said they had been in touch with their lawyer to ask for an extension of time while they tried to settle the issue.
“Blessing’s material are all over Ghana and beyond. We practically cannot withdraw them all within the stipulated period. We hope to come to an amicable settlement,” Ennin stated.
Kumasi-born singer, Joyce Blessing is one of the fastest-rising stars on the gospel music scene at the moment. Her music career started in the Garden City where she sang as a chorister with the Seed of Time Ministry and later with the See Them band.
As a backing vocalist at a point, she performed with artistes such as Ernest Opoku, Diana Asamoah, Prof Kofi Abraham, Oheneba Kissi, Mary Ghansah and Jewel Ackah with whom she re-united on the Nyame Egwamaa song.
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