A former Ugandan Journalist, Simon Musasizi (1st Plaintiff), and photographer Edward Echwalu (2nd Plaintiff), have filed a copyright infringement suit against the chairman of Busoga Tourism Initiative Limited (BTI), Edward Kafufu Baliddawa (1st Defendant). BTI is named as the 2nd Defendant.
In the Complaint dated January 20, the Plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the Defendants infringed on their copyright, and issue a permanent injunction restraining them from continued infringement.
New Vision reports that the Plaintiffs are specifically seeking an order for an account and surrender of all proceeds earned by the Defendants from the infringement.
In the Complaint, the 1st Plaintiff states:
“Sometime in early 2013, [the 1st Plaintiff] initiated the idea of writing a travel book on Busoga [a region in Eastern Uganda] and contacted [a Publisher] with a proposal for the latter to print and publish the proposed book.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed in which it was agreed that [the Publisher] would look for advertisers to take up space in the book while [the 1st Plaintiff] carries out research, writing and compilation of the book.
[The Publisher] suggested that for ease of business, it was necessary for [the 1st Plaintiff] to obtain a cover letter from the speaker of parliament as patron of [the 2nd Defendant], which he did with the help of [the 1st Dfendant] who had shown interest in the initiative.
The Plaintiffs claim that they worked tirelessly conducting research, collecting data, verifying the information obtained, and writing the content to ensure that the entire book was ready by end of 2013 and also capturing images to be used in the book.
According to the Plaintiffs, the Defendants’ only contributed by sourcing for old pictures of Busoga, paying the graphic designer and sourcing for funding for purposes of printing and publishing.
Unfortunately things took a turn for the Publisher financially and as such they could not publish the book as agreed in the MOU. The Plaintiffs claim they were still in the process of sourcing for alternative sources to publish the book when they became aware through media reports that the book had already been published with the 1st Defendant listed as the author.
The case is currently pending.