Musician sues Safaricom for playing his songs on Skiza tune for five years without his consent

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 11 Nov, 2021 20:19 | 2 mins read
Safaricom headquarters in Nairobi. PHOTO/Courtesy

Musician Bamboo wants Safaricom to pay all the money the telecommunications service provider collected by using his music for five years on Skiza tune without his authority.

While testifying in court the musician disclosed three hit songs Safaricom and other two companies used without his permission namely Mama Africa, Yes Indeed and Move On.

Through his lawyers Mr Chege and David Katee, Bamboo wants three companies to produce in court all accounts and records of all the sales proceeds realized from the sale and download of his three musical works.

The musician who has sued three companies namely Safaricom limited, Bernsoft Limited and Mtech communications Limited wants to be paid the said sum of money found due upon the taking of the account of the proceeds of sale in respect to his musical work in a duration of five years. 

He avers that the Safaricom and Mtech communication limited used his music without seeking and obtaining authorization and licence from the musician whereby they jointly reproduced, published, broadcasted, distributed, exhibited, sold and commercially benefitted by uploading the said musical works on Safaricom Skiza tune platform.

While testifying before Justice Joseph Sergon the musician whose real name is Timson Kuria told the court that he suffered the loss of revenue arising from the inability to assign the rights infringed by the three companies to other parties.

"I lost the exclusive right to control and license the production of my music work despite using a lot of resources and time to produce them," Bamboo told the court.

Bamboo also told the court that the said works were being downloaded at a cost of 75 Cents per song from the Safaricom portal which acts continued unabated from the year 2009 to 2014 when Safaricom expunged the said works from its portal following the demand and notice of intention to sue served by the musician.

In a plaint filed in court, the musician claims that Safaricom had acknowledged having hosted the said works on its platform but later denied liability for the infringement and refused to make good the claims by the musician alleging that it had received the said music from the other two companies.

Through his two lawyers Mr Chege and David Katee the musician disclosed that MAMA AFRICA hit song which was recorded in 2007 was a collaboration between him and the American artiste AKON

In court documents, the musician seeks to be compensated for damages and loss he suffered by not being able to license the said musical works to different companies and entities.

"In this regard, the plaintiff avers that Airtel Kenya cancelled negotiations to enter into a contract for the said musical works after discovering that they were being offered by 1st defendant Skiza platform," the court documents read in part.