Kenyan musician Nonini, real name is Hubert Nakitare, has won a copyright infringement suit against social media influencer Brian Mutinda for using his 'We Kamu' hit in an advert.
On March 23, 2023, the Milimani Commercial Magistrate Court ruled in favour of Nonini, ordering Mutinda to pay the artiste Sh1 million in general damages as well as take down a video at the heart of the suit from all social media platforms.
Nonini’s lawsuit was filed after Mutinda featured his hit song We Kamu in a video advert that promoted the latest television sets of the brand Syinix. The artiste said his hit song was used without his consent or authorisation, leading to him seek redress in court last year.
Nonini expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the lawsuit, and took to his social media to celebrate the ruling.
Nonini’s official statement read, “Today, March 23, 2023, will go down in history (Year of the Jordan) and is a win for the Kenyan music industry #Mgenge2ru Vs the people who used my song We Kamu to push a product. #CopyrightShallBeRespected.”
Nonini further noted that he had been involved in several copyright infringement cases running for years.
He also acknowledged that the court’s decision had set a precedent that would help protect the rights of artistes in Kenya.
The ruling in this case comes at a time when entertainment and intellectual property lawyer Liz Lenjo has cautioned content creators to seek clearance before using any third-party intellectual property.
She noted that brands that engage influencers must ensure that they have the necessary rights to use intellectual property assets such as music, pictures, or any other intellectual property, to avoid legal disputes.
This article was first published in Nairobi News.