CEO of OheneMedia, Abraham Ohene Djan’s new found love in YouTube is not only making good money for himself via Google Adsense, its also sometimes about uploading videos on his YouTube channel and monetizing them without the consent of the copyright owners.
In this interview, Speech Production’s Enock Agyepong speaks with GhanaGist.Com about a number of things including his stance that, OheneMedia is abusing the system.
He says its more annoying especially coming from an industry person who should have known better and done the right time but because he’s blinded by money, he has decided to disregard the rightful owners of the videos he uploads on his channel and make money off the struggling musicians.
Enock takes a swipe at Google and YouTube for aiding OheneMedia to perpetrate this illegal business of uploading videos without the consent of the actual owners.
Enock Agyepong is the producer and manager of Akesifour AKC4, a Ragga/Reggae group.
Read the interview below:
GhanaGist.Com: So what’s your problem with Abraham Ohene Djan and his OheneMedia?
Enock: I have issues with Abrahim Ohene Djan and his newly found love with YouTube and Google (Adsense). You know, we are living in an industry of talents and this work deals with copyright issues, before you work with anybody you need to sign a contract or Memorandum of Understanding, so I don’t get (understand) it when somebody (OheneMedia) wakes and start uploading peoples (artistes) videos on his channel to make money without their consent. That’s my problem with Abraham Ohene Djan.
GhanaGist.Com: Tell us more
Enock: I have my videos; I make it free for everybody to watch, I let it go everywhere, if you want to upload it, I don’t have a problem with it but almost 6 months ago, I try watching my videos on YouTube and I couldn’t watch them. When I read what was on it, it told me copyright violation and that the video belongs to Abraham Ohene Djan (Ohene Media) who doesn’t know how the hell I was able to make my videos.
YouTube doesn’t know how I made that video; OheneMedia doesn’t even know how I made that video. So I was a bit surprised. But they told me the video belongs to OheneMedia. They have something like a Protest Form, so I replied to it, I told them OheneMedia is a friend, but he doesn’t own the video, it belongs to me but he has a music video channel that shows all music videos, so maybe he mistakenly uploaded it, but he doesn’t have the right to block the video or what I’m doing. Fortunately they took the block off.
A week after, I checked another video and again it was blocked with the same inscription that the video belongs to OheneMedia. I was like what the hell? I got angry and replied to it with little anger and they just released that video too. By then I had to travel with one of my artiste JM (Joe Mensah) to do some promotional works in Ivory Coast, we got there, did our work and came back but before then, we gave the rights of the music to someone who wanted to work with us as his rep there.
The person uploaded a slideshow of the audio with pictures and uploaded it on YouTube. I tried watching that one too and same issue with the first one came up again, they told me the content belongs to Ohene Media again. I didn’t understand, so I called OheneMedia’s office and his fat brother Eddie picked the phone and what he said really pissed me off.
He said they are trying to help us and if we don’t like then he’s going to take off the video. I told him I called to find out why I can’t watch my own videos and not to exchange words, because anytime I tried they told me the videos belongs to OheneMedia. People have uploaded my videos all over the world but to block my own videos is total disrespect.
My artiste; Akesifour’s video “African Girls”, I don’t know whoever uploaded it. It has over 500,000 hits and you know what that can do – a lot? If you can ask OheneMedia how many of his videos that he has done has that number of hits. None of his videos. I have questions to ask him but for now, let me continue. Like I said, you can upload my videos to any channel but seek permission before monetizing them.
GhanaGist.Com: So what happened after his outburst?
I told Eddie, you blocked my own videos and he said no, “I’m trying to help you people, if you people don’t like it, then I’m taking it off”, I told him to at once take them off. Then he asked me to speak with Abraham but before he has caused the damaged already and I don’t care about that.
Abraham said “Enock, we are friends and if there is a problem, why don’t you come to the office and we talk about it.” I told him, I don’t know if it’s a problem or not but I just called to find out why my videos has been blocked and monetized without my consent.
It was late and there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t want it again because they didn’t use the right channel to get my videos.
GhanaGist.Com: So what do you plan on doing now?
I think OheneMedia is being disrespectful. They are disrespecting artistes in Ghana, that’s how I feel. Unfortunate part is that, YouTube and Google are being drawn into that. Before I work with any artiste, I sign a contract; OheneMedia doesn’t even know the kind of contract I signed with the artiste, so why take the video and illegally upload on your channel and block it? This is shameful.
Since he works with YouTube, they must make sure that he owns all the videos he uploads on his channel to make money because the videos doesn’t belong to him but they are just there and they are abusing msicians in Ghana.
We at Speech Production, we believe in talent, we don’t care about the money. You can take my money from me but you can never take away a talent. When I wanted to shoot a video for JM, I went to OheneMedia and he said he will charge me GHC1.000. Unfortunately I didn’t go back but imagine he was the one who shot the video and another person illegally uploads the video and makes money from it, how will he as an industry person feel?
I feel insulted. I feel strongly insulted. I don’t blame him. I blame the artistes who cannot stand up to certain things. As a producer, why has Abraham stopped producing? You know why? It’s because it’s a game that comes with passion, if the passion is not there, you cannot do anything. You must have love for it. He’s thinking about the money but I don’t expect him to exploit what I do.