Former mayor of Kampala looses Shs8 billion case to MTN

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MTN_Logo_onlyFormer mayor of Kampala Nasser Sebaggala will have to pay telecom services provider MTN and SMS media after a losing a case in which he sued both entities for sh 8 million for using his voice as their ringtone on their network.

In his ruling, Justice Christopher Madrama of the Commercial said that the voice was recorded and caller tunes made and hence the facts were not in dispute.

“An interview with the media is not a private conversation; you cannot control how the recording was going to be used. Copyright in voice recording serves producers and Sebaggala did not give instructions on how his speech would to be used. He freely gave his answers for the consumption of the public and his words were not twisted. The author of the works has moral rights and the owner of the works has economic rights and the two can be merged,” Justice Madrama ruled adding on that “Sebaggala cannot be the author to work he did not consent to and cannot prove the use of his voice was injurious to his character.”

The Daily Monitor reports that the judge rule that Sebaggala did not author the work and was not therefore protected by copyright laws not to mention the fact that since he never agreed to performance rights he was not a performer.

Justice Madrama basing on the definition of an author stated that “The third party is the creator of works. I have listened to the video recording they are the same words of the plaintiff, some questions edited out the Plaintiff testified that he knew he would be recorded and that he was responding to questions. He was recorded not by his own arrangement, but by the third party’s agents and he did not deliver a speech but was responding to various questions.”