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Influencer Brian Mutinda receives reprieve in Sh1 million lawsuit filed by Nonini over a controversial ad

A Nairobi court has overturned a Sh1 million damages claim imposed on content creator Brian Mutinda and Syinix Electronics Ltd for using the disputed ‘wee kamu’ slogan in an online advertisement without the permission of rapper Hubert Nakitare, known as Nonini.

The damages were initially awarded against Mr. Mutinda and Syinix Electronics Ltd for copyright infringement on March 23, due to their failure to appear in court to defend themselves.

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However, Mr. Mutinda successfully argued that he was not given the opportunity to present his case, leading the court to set aside the judgment.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Hosea Ng’ang’a has now directed the parties to appear before him on June 11 for the highlighting of submissions and setting a judgment date.

Mr. Mutinda claimed he should not be penalized for the negligence of his former lawyer, who failed to file a defense. He only became aware of the judgment through a tweet by Nonini on X (formerly Twitter), which tagged him and demanded payment.

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“I became aware of the judgment on March 23, 2023. [Nonini] through his official Twitter handle tagged me in a tweet demanding the payment,” Mr. Mutinda stated in an affidavit filed in court. He consulted his former lawyers, who informed him that the decision had been made by default.

“I humbly seek a stay of the court’s judgment and all related proceedings, and request that this application be heard urgently. If the ex-parte judgment is not set aside and the plaintiff/respondent proceeds with execution, I will suffer irreparable loss and damages,” he submitted.

Mr. Mutinda denied any wrongdoing in the creation of the advertisement and placed the blame on Syinix Electronics Ltd, the company that contracted him.

“If such a video exists and was posted by the 2nd defendant (Syinix) as alleged, it was done in their capacity. The 1st defendant cannot be held liable for the actions of the 2nd defendant,” Mr. Mutinda stated in court documents.

He further argued that Syinix stood to benefit from the content, and thus, liability should not be assigned to him. “The content in the said video was for the benefit of the 2nd defendant, and the 1st defendant had no legal obligation to obtain a license for the said video.”

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Ozymandias

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

 
 
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