I Need That Ksh1 Million By Monday- Nonini To Brian Mutinda

The defendants were ordered by the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday to pay Nonini Ksh1 million in general damages

I Need That Ksh1 Million By Monday- Nonini To Brian Mutinda
A collage of Nonini and influencer Brian Mutinda. /INSTAGRAM.NONINIMGENGETRUE.MUMA PIX

Legendary rapper Hubert Mbuku Nakitare, alias Nonini demanded a multinational electronics company and social media influencer Brian Mutinda to pay him Ksh1 million after winning a case against both of them.

On Thursday, March 23, the defendants were ordered by the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday to pay Nonini Ksh1 million in general damages for infringing his copyright.

The Manzi wa Nairobi hitmaker had accused the social media influencer of publishing a short video meant to market one of the products of the company on his Instagram page and using one of his songs, which he argued were used without his permission.

Popular social media influencer, Brian Mutinda. /MUMA PIX

While celebrating his victory on social media on Friday, March 24, Nonini compelled both the defendants to ensure that the damages are paid to him by Monday, March 27.

"General Damages plus the cost of suit and interest! I'm gonna need that by Monday," he stated.

Nonini’s lawyer David Katee told NTV that the company and Mutinda were ordered to remove the infringing content from all of their platforms, pay the cost of the suit, and pay interest at the court’s rate.

“Intellectual property is a property like any other.

"The same way you cannot trespass on someone’s land is the same way you cannot use someone’s intellectual property without their permission. So copyrights and any other intellectual property must be respected,” Katee stated.

The ruling came as a reminder to content creators to seek permission before using third-party intellectual property, as previously cautioned by entertainment and IP lawyer Liz Lenjo.

She noted that brands that engage influencers must ensure that they have the necessary rights to use intellectual property assets such as music, pictures, or any other intellectual property, to avoid legal disputes.

Nonini has been sharing a Twitter thread since July 27, 2022, containing updates on the case, including an update from the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) on the same.

The short video in question was published on the company's verified Facebook page and used his hit song, We Kamu, to synchronise with the visuals without a synchronisation license, which is against copyright laws.

Nonini also accused Mutinda of using his copyrights for his own financial gain and for the capitalistic gain of the company without his permission, which is an act of copyright infringement.

“In this instance, synchronization rights are at stake and as such, a synchronization license was needed but you failed to procedurally procure the same. The same synchronization license can only be issued by the composer and publisher as they are the only ones with the authority to negotiate and issue a synchronization license,” part of the demand letter read.

The rapper demanded both parties issue a public apology posted on their social media accounts and pull down the video from their pages immediately. In addition, both parties ought to have admitted liability within the next seven days.

However, both parties argued in their response letter that the company had no reasonable grounds for suspecting the subsistence of copyright in the video.

It also did not admit liability but opened the floor for Nonini to issue a synchronisation licence to it for the song.

After Nonini's lawsuit, other musicians such as rap group Wakadinali followed a month later in suing Mutinda for using their Geri Inegi song in one of his content pieces, adding that attempts to resolve the matter out of court went up in smoke.

Music group Wakadinali. /YOUTUBE