The Kenya Forum | Equity to Pay Student Sh5m for Illegally Using his Song - The Kenya Forum

October 30, 2022

Summary

Justice Okwany said it was ironic for the bank, which through its programme, promotes the education of bright needy students but chose to treat Mr Nyadida, who was a student, in such a cruel manner.

More by Winnie Kabintie

Equity to Pay Student Sh5m for Illegally Using his Song

Equity to Pay Student Sh5m for Illegally Using his Song

A court has ordered Equity Bank to pay a student Sh5 million for the illegal use of his intellectual property after the bank used a song composed by the student in 2013 to advertise its “Wings to Fly” programme.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany further directed the lender, together with the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and the police, to pay Mr Edwin Obiero Nyadida Sh250,000 for malicious prosecution after the claimant was initially charged with forgery when he made the effort to pursue his rights from the lender.

According to  Nyadida he was dragged to court and charged with forgery for pursuing his right but the case was terminated three years later.

He told the court that told the court that Equity approached him with a proposal to publicise its education programme after which he composed the song. He created the song in May 2013 and registered it at the Music Copyright Society together with other songs, while still a high school student at the time.

He demanded Sh10 million from the bank for the song but the lender offered to give him a scholarship instead, which his parents rejected and insisted on the money.

The bank, he said, pulled out of the deal but still went ahead to use Mr Nyadida’s song to advertise its “Wings to Fly” programme, and allegedly caused his arrest. He was then charged with forgery together with his brother.

This court had a chance to listen to the petitioner’s music ‘Wings to Fly’ when the same was played in court during the hearing. I noted that there was a striking similarity between the said song and the one used by the bank in advertising its programme, also dubbed ‘Wings to Fly’,” the judge said.

Justice Okwany added that Mr Nyadida proved that the lender used and has been using the music that he created without his consent and without paying him for it, thus breaching his intellectual property rights.

She said it was ironic for the bank, which through its programme, promotes the education of bright needy students but chose to treat Mr Nyadida, who was a student, in such a cruel manner.

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