Samsal, the creative agency mentioned by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in the midst of the controversy regarding an alleged copyright infringement, has spoken.
According to the agency, the video it created for the Ghana Tourism Authority is not what has been put out.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the video which the President and the GTA have put in circulation is not the mood board we created. It contains snippets from the mood board. However, we never authorized the GTA to publish the mood board or any scenes from it. The signed MoU was explicit that our delivery obligations related to the new content, which would be financed by the GTA,” the agency wrote in a press statement.
Samsal noted that the video reel it presented to the GTA (which contains Ayat’s video) and other shots were presented to the authority as a sample and not the final work.
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“We put together a video reel (“mood board”) which we showed to the GTA as inspiration and creative direction for the videos we intended to produce during the campaign. The mood board was a mash-up of scenes from different videos including the video for Ayat’s “GUDA” and other videos shot by David Nicol-Sey, a fellow creative who we have worked with on several campaigns (and who directed the campaign video for Discovery Bands),” Samsal further stated.
Samsel mentioned that the Ghana Tourism Authority “did not finance the creation of any new work as agreed. Using our own funds, we created our own video (see enclosed) to promote Discovery Bands and submitted it to the GTA. The GTA has not posted the Discovery Bands video (which also depicts lovely scenes from Ghana and which we worked with David Nicol-Sey to shoot) nor has it fulfilled any of its content financing obligations under our MoU.”
The agency expressed surprise at the fact that the mood board it presented to the GTA had been “repurposed and put into circulation” instead of fulfilling its obligations under the MoU by providing it with logistics and budgetary support for the creation of similar content to market Ghana.
Because of this, Samsal has refuted earlier claims by the GTA that it authorized the GTA to use Ayat’s video.
Samsal’s name came up after Ghanaian music Kirani Ayat, called out the President, Nana Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Tourism for using elements of his ‘Guda’ video for tourism ad without his consent.
The video, which was shared on the President’s Twitter handle, has scenes from various tourist sites and locations in the country and the President’s voice-over.
After complaining about the copyright gaffe, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the institution that sanctioned the work, released a statement and later said in an interview on Asempa FM that it acquired the video legitimately from Samsal, a creative agency it outsourced the work to.
Some of the issues incensed a lot of people in the creative space, including Sarkodie, who have added their voices, pressing on government to compensate Kirani Ayat for using his video without his approval.
Ayat’s ‘Guda’ won the overall Best Video award at the 2019 4syte Music Video Awards.