Opinion & Analysis

Dear Creatives, don’t steal someone’s work and call it your own


I trust you are well and staying safe.

I want to bring your attention to the issue of copyright infringement for your consideration.

Throughout your Creative Journey you may be interested in using another person’s work to compliment yours. For instance, you may use samples of songs, covers or you may even incorporate elements from existing songs.  What is important to note however is that using these song samples, covers and/or incorporating elements from existing songs without express permission amounts to copyright infringement. You may obtain the permission in the form of an agreement or a letter depending on the nature of the permission granted.

Just think about it, the owner of the copyright has put in the time and resources to put together the work and deserves all the royalties they can get from that work. So, using their work without their express permission amounts somewhat to stealing.

Let me give you an example that has made the news. Drake, the famous Canadian rapper, sampled Obrafuor’s 2003 remix of Oye Ohene for his song titled “Calling My Name”. Drake’s Calling My Name was released on his album “Honestly, Nevermind!” on 17th June 2022. Obrafuor has filed a lawsuit against Drake claiming that Drake has infringed on his intellectual property rights by sampling a portion of his song without his permission.

I am sure you’re wondering what things you can copyright? Well, under the Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690) you can copyright the following (a) literary work; (b) artistic work; (c) musical work; (d) sound recording; (e) audio-visual work; (f) choreographic work; (g) derivative work; and (h) computer software or programmes. 

I hope you found what you do in the list above.

Please note that one very important factor to consider in a copyright is the issue of originality. You cannot do a cover of someone else’s song and claim copyright over the work!!!!

I hope I have been able to address any copyright issues you may have.

You may contact me on pacquaye@candaattorneys.com if you have questions. I am happy to respond to them.

Yours faithfully,

Prince A. Acquaye

Managing Partner

Corporate and Allied Attorneys


Prince A. Acquaye is the Managing Partner at Corporate and Allied Attorneys, a dynamic law firm in Ghana. He specializes in corporate governance, intellectual property, immigration, general corporate commercial, data protection and M&A.

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