From The Industry

Rex Omar claps back at critics; outlines how to legally sample or cover songs

He says anyone criticizing him is simply ignorant

Ace Highlife act, Rex Omar, has posited that anyone who is out saying that he is the worst chairman that the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) is simply saying it out of ignorance & advised musicians not to take copyright laws for granted.

In an interview with Dr. Cann on Happy98.9FM’s Saturday morning edutainment show ‘Showbiz Xtra,’ he indicated that anyone who knows him and has followed his career knows that he has been advocating and fighting for copyright issues for the past 35years, hence he joined GHAMRO for genuine reasons and not for personal gains.

“I am part of the reasons why the copyright laws in Ghana were changed. I didn’t get into this fight only to run off at a point and I won’t say that because someone is talking out of ignorance, I am giving up the fight.

“I don’t care what people think about me. I care about what I think of myself. If I’m known for doing something that is right not just for me but for the future generation, that is exactly what I’ll do”, he said.

Rex disclosed that he is not making any personal gains from GHAMRO. He stated that all he is getting is insults, accusations, and counter-accusations simply because the people who are doing that to him do not understand copyright issues.

He noted however that he is not bothered because that is what he decided to get into GHAMRO to help with.

“You can think whatever you want to think about me but I don’t care. Those who are saying I’m the worst GHAMRO chairman, I don’t care about them because they’re only talking out of ignorance.

“I’m going again to make sure the reason I went to GHAMRO is fixed and then I can leave. Even if it takes me six months to get GHAMRO where I want it to be. I don’t care what people say about me”, Rex exclaimed.

Furthermore, in an interview with host, Dr. Cann on Happy FM’s Showbiz Xtra, he educated on what people need to do if they want to sample a musician’s work for their own projects or if a musician wants to cover another artiste’s song.

He said, “You have to research on the person whose song you want to use. If you take a song or album from the person, you will find who the publishers are.

You have to research on the musician’s record company, who the publishers are, what management the musician belongs to and then you reach out to them for permission”, he said.

Questioned on what one is supposed to do if they do not find any information on the right people to contact, Rex noted that not finding the needed information on a song or album does not give one the go-ahead to use the property.

He made an instance that, “It’s like you’ve found a house that you want to rent but you’re not finding the landlord. That does not mean you can move into the house. You have to find another house. It is someone’s property so if you want to use the property and you can’t find the owner, just find another property”.

The seasoned musician observed that Ghanaians do not respect copyright laws unlike people in developed countries who understand these laws and do not take it for granted.

He advised that any artiste’s song is their intellectual property, hence, they have every right to take legal action against anyone who uses it without seeking their permission.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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