The Court has ordered Equity Bank of Kenya to compensate Eric Nyadida for using his “Wings to Fly” music in their advertisement in their community service responsibility program “Wings to Fly”
In 2013 Equity Bank asked Eric Nyadida then aged 16 to compose an original music piece to publicize their Wings to fly program. In exchange for the song they were to pay him KES 10M (Ten million Kenya Shillings).
On receiving the song they refused to pay the KES 10M despite using it across all their platforms as a marketing tool. To intimidate him & prevent him from asking for his payment that was due They used their influence to have him & his brother arrested & charged with forgery.
Copyright-savvy corporates have for too long infringed on copyrights of individual authors with relatively little risk, given that the costs of litigation are likely to be greater than any damage award, which tends to lessen the deterrence and limiting effect. – Eric Nyadida said in a statement.
Eric aged 16 was held overnight in a cell at Kileleshwa Police station & then tried as an adult for the offence of forgery: Criminal Case 691/2015, despite being a child, further contravening his rights because he was a minor who should have been tried in a child’s court.
IP Watch Article: Intellectual Property Theft By Corporations in Kenya
Despite this, Eric was found not guilty because there was no evidence to prove the trumped up charges brought against him by Equity Bank & DPP & IG & AG all who were named respondents in the lawsuit.
By using Eric’s song without his permission & without paying him by Equity Bank infringed on his copyright and took advantage of his age & exploited him. Over & above this they used the courts to maliciously prosecute him & caused him & his family great anguish.
On Thursday 13th October, after a decade long battle, the Milimani Commercial High court under the stewardship of Lady Justice Wilfrida Okwany found in favor of Eric Nyadida & ordered by Equity Bank to compensate Him for the song & awarded damages running up tens of millions.