Disney Could Face Legal Action From Kenyan Band Over "Hakuna Matata" Trademark

Disney Could Face Legal Action From Kenyan Band Over "Hakuna Matata" Trademark


While an outpour anticipation and pleasure have come connected to the reside remake The Lion King, Disney can also be dealing with renewed backlash over the use and trademark the Swahili “hakuna matata” phrase. In 1994, the corporate trademarked the phrase and now many have as soon as extra issued an outcry over what’s perceived to be cultural appropriation and exploitation with opposition citing that Disney can not trademark one thing it didn’t create.

Now a brand new ingredient has been tossed into the combination as Kenyan band Them Mushrooms have prominently come ahead by asserting that they popularized the use the phrase “hakuna matata” 14 years earlier than Disney ever filed for a trademark. While the melody is not the identical, “hakuna matata” is used within the group’s 1980s observe “Jambo Bwana.”

“Disney’s first registration, as we have come to study, was in 1994. This is 14 years after we had recorded the track. This track went platinum within the nation. This is our nationwide tourism anthem in Kenya,” frontman John Katana mentioned. “…] We had been a bit shocked, you recognize, as a result of we mentioned, ‘Hey, these guys are have taken our phrase, however they’ve modified the tune.'”

Katana explains that as he and his bandmates weren’t as effectively versed in copyright legislation when the track was first recorded, they weren’t absolutely conscious the choices they might discover as a way to take authorized motion early on. However, TMZ studies that the band plans to hunt authorized motion in opposition to Disney now.