Kwame Mickey Resolves Copyright Dispute with Team Eternity Ghana Over 'Defe Defe' Lyrics

Quick Summary

Music producer Kwame Mickey and Team Eternity Ghana have amicably resolved their copyright dispute over the use of 'Defe Defe' lyrics. The settlement involved both an apology and a monetary compensation, with future royalties also agreed upon.

Full Article:

Kwame Mickey, the music producer at the centre of the controversy regarding Team Eternity Ghana's use of 'Defe Defe' lyrics, has revealed details of the resolution between both parties.

Following his announcement that “the issue that arose concerning Team Eternity Ghana’s use of a portion of the existing song titled ‘Defe Defe’ in their new song also titled ‘Defe Defe’ has been amicably resolved,” Kwame disclosed that a financial settlement was part of the agreement.

In an interview with DJ Slim on Hitz FM's morning show Daybreak Hitz, Kwame shared that lawyers from both sides reached a mutual agreement, and he is satisfied with the outcome. When asked if Team Eternity merely apologized or also provided monetary compensation, he confirmed that both occurred.

"Both the apology and the money came, but it was not any scary arrangement as in asking them to pay any specific amount of money. They named the amount they wanted to pay, and I didn't have to go back and forth with them," he explained.

Kwame, however, declined to disclose the exact amount paid, stating, "It is not something that needs to be made public."

Additionally, Kwame mentioned that arrangements have been made for the split of royalties generated by the song. In his earlier press statement, he noted, “the parties have duly entered into a Licence Agreement under which Kwame Mickey grants to Team Eternity Ghana the non-exclusive right to use in the new song, those words derived from the existing song.”

How it all started:

A few weeks ago, Kwame Mickey, the executive producer for Hallelujah Voices’ ‘Defe Defe’, accused Team Eternity Ghana of copyright infringement for using the ‘defe defe’ line in their new hit song. He publicly questioned the similarity, writing, “Who is that Defe Defe singer? If I start right now, they will say I am 'mansonia'. What is the difference between the two songs? Somebody tell her to report and do the needful. That’s all.” 

He also took action by requesting YouTube to disable the visibility of Team Eternity's 'Defe Defe' until the copyright issues were resolved.

This dispute sparked debates on social media. While some argued that ‘Defe Defe’ is not an expression exclusive to Hallelujah Voices, others noted similarities in the lyrics. Hallelujah Voices sing “manhyia Nyame a anka ɔbonsam ayɛ me defe defe,” while Team Eternity sing “manhyia Nyame a anka y’ayɛ me defe defe.” ‘Defe defe' in Twi is an adverb used to describe the gravity of an unpleasant situation, with synonyms like ‘pasa pasa’ and ‘basa basa’.

Despite structural differences in the rhythmic patterns and melodic phrases of the two songs, Kwame Mickey emphasized the lyrical similarities. The original ‘Defe Defe' song, performed by Hallelujah Voices, was written by Osuani Afrifa and executively produced by Kwame Mickey for Kaakyire Music Productions, and it was released in 2004. (via myjoyonline)