Court date set: Nonini sues Japanese company over ‘WeKamu’ advert
Kenyan musician Nonini Mgenge 2ru, born Hubert Mbuku Nakitare, is set to battle it out in court against Synix Electronics- a Japanese-based home appliance brand after they used his music in an advertisement without his express permission.
On July 27, 2022, Nonini pinned the advertisement to his social media handles and called out Synix Electronics for using his hit song, WeKamu, to promote their television sets.
The advert featured a couple where the man welcomed a woman to his home, ushered her to a couch, and she wondered why he had no television set instead of the laptop he had placed on the television stand. As the man sat next to her and pointed his remote at the laptop, it suddenly switched into a large-screen television as they suddenly switched into comfortable clothing- pyjamas and open robes at the same time.
“Syinix Electronics decided to do a very brilliant advert using my song WeKamu. The only problem is they didn’t ask for permission @SyinixKE, @syinix_Nigeria, @Syinix_Ghana, @syinix2 ,” said Nonini as he tagged the African branches.
On January 26, 2023, Nonini returned with an update, announcing he was set to face the Japanese company in court.
“It’s January 26th 2023! I shared the first Tweet on this Thread July 2022 and Pinned it. I said I will unpin this thread when the matter ends. Well, Mark your calendars! 23rd March 2023 #CopyrightShallBeRespected #IPShallBeRespected 23 the year of the JORDAN (SiTafadhali),” said Nonini in his statement.
According to his prior statements, Nonini said people required licenses to use their music no matter how small a portion of the song was used.
“A synchronization license is required no matter how small a portion of the song you use especially for commercial purposes. If a song is synced on a video you will need to pay the composer of the song no matter how small the portion of the composition is used.
Music rightsholders know how to defend their rights, and not having a sync license puts your company at risk. The music industry earns its revenue from copyrights and so music rights holders please take legal action against any form of infringement,” said Nonini.
He also outlined the procedure an artist should take if their content is used without their permission.
“Make the infringing party aware that they have infringed your rights through an initial Demand Letter. Give them the right to respond sometimes, it’s someone who is ignorant who has no idea what they were doing.
When they respond to your letter (where) they know very well they are in the wrong, but they will not admit it, at this point, they have the option to discuss the matter or thump chest to test you it’s called (Uta do nini mentality).
And that point you have no option than to file a case in Court.” Nonini posted over the past few months since the Synix Electronics advert.