The Ghana National Folklore Board has initiated moves to sue Marvel Studios, producers of “Black Panther” for using the country’s ‘Kente’ designs in some of the costumes it used in the movie without permission.
This, the board says, is a breach of Ghana’s copyright laws.
In an interview with 3 FM, the Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adjoa Addobea Asante said the film company should have sought permission from the Board before using the ‘kente’ in the blockbuster movie.
She said they are “preparing a legal dossier.”
However, Ghana is yet to officially write to Marvel to express its concerns regarding the alleged breaches and accordingly serve notice of a possible suit.
“The strategy is that we are not going in for a fight,” she indicated, adding that “it is not adversarial”.
Ms Adobea, however, noted that the Board is ready to “sit down with them [Marvel Studios], negotiate as to how they can compensate [Ghana] because they were to come for permission but they did not.”
She, therefore, urged the general public to seek permission before using any of the Ghanaian symbols and folklore for commercial purposes.
“With regards to Black Panther, you know there was a lot of Kente. Adinkra symbols also featured heavily in the movie. So they are also part of the foreign claims that we intend to take upon,” Nana Adjoa added.
Apart from Black Panther, the Ghana Folklore Board is also girding up to go after Starz, producers of ‘American Gods TV’ series for allegedly misrepresenting the Akan folkloric character Ananse as a god in the sequel instead of a trickster spider.
Addobea also stated that another case the Board will pursue is one involving the popular Italian fashion designer, Velentino [Velentino Garavani], for allegedly commercializing the Ahenema royal African sandals.