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Singer Free Boy sues Telcom giants MTN, Airtel to compensate him UGX 350M for breach of copyright

1 min read

Local music artist Mubarak Mandela commonly known as Free Boy has sued telecom giants MTN and Airtel for copyright infringement. Through Viva Entertainment, the artist accuses the two telecom giants of using his song “Kwata Essimu” since March 2020 to promote their sales without his notice.

In his suit before the High Court Commercial Division, the artist wants both firms to compensate him Shillings 175million for copyright infringement. Through Katende and Sempebwa advocates, Freeboy and his promoter, say that they decided to seek legal address after seeking redress from the two companies in the last one year vain.  

Addressing journalists in Arua over the weekend, Free Boy who signed Music production and promotion agreement with Viva Entertainment in 2017, said that he has evidence implicating the telecoms for using his song “Kwata Essimu’ as a caller tune and to promote their sales.

Gilbert Adibo, the CEO Viva Entertainment says that they instructed their lawyers to sue both telecoms after getting a cold response to their complaints.

MTN has through its lawyers of Shonubi, Musoke and Co. Advocates denied the accusations of copyright infringement, saying they will task the applicants to prove their claims. URN could not access the response by Airtel to the suit.  

It is not yet clear when the court will hear the suit. This is not the first time telecoms are being accused of copyright infringement.