Recently a woman, Ann Njoku Kumena, was awarded Sh. 1.5m (approximately USD $15,000) by a high court sitting in Kerugoya against KTDA for using her image without authorization.
It will be recalled that Ann Njoku Kumena sued KTDA for unlawfully using her photograph without seeking her consent and also using thesame picture in a marketing brochure titled KENYA TEAS: SPECIALITY TEAS.
The plaintiff claims that the defendant did not only infringed on her copyright but also fail to compensate her.
In reaction, the defendant KTDA argued that the plaintiff is not entitled to compensation because she did not have royalty and copyright to the picture. According to the defendant, since the plaintiff voluntarily posed for the picture, she could not claim to have suffered any loss, damage, or that her fundamental rights have been infringed upon.
The lawsuit judgment was delivered by Judge L. W. Gitari of high court sitting in Kerugoya in favour of plaintiff. The court said that the plaintiff is entitled to a declaration that the defendant’s conduct amounts to infringement of the plaintiff’s right to privacy and protection from deprivation of property without compensation.
The court awareds the plaintiff sh.1,500,000 for general damages for the violation of her rights inclusive of the costs of the suit and interests.
Although the Copyright Act of 2001, CAP 130, Laws of Kenya states that the owner of the photograph (photographer) owns the copyright and is entitled to compensation, it also states that where photographs are used for a commercial nature, the companies are expected to contact the people in the images and compensate them.