Singer Winnie Nwagi real names Winnie Nakanwagi and Free Boy, real names Mubarak Adams have sued sued telecom giant MTN Uganda over Kwata Esimu caller tune.
The two musicians filed their suit through Viva Entertainment Limited and are represented by Katende, Ssempebwa and Company Advocates.
Nwagi and Free Boy claim that the telecom company of MTN used their song as a caller tune without their authorization which is an infringement of their copyright.
MTN Uganda charges Shs700 monthly for the caller tune.
“Despite the song’s popularity, the plaintiff [Viva Entertainment] was not able to fully recoup the cost incurred while producing the said musical work due to the limitations in commercial engagement in the said work caused by the defendant’s [MTN Uganda’s] illegal exploitation of the song without authorization from the plaintiff,” argued Viva Entertainment in their suit.
“The popularity of the song was so immense it triggered dance challenges locally and abroad from fans dubbed ‘Kwata Esimu Challenge’ which was a statement to the song’s popularity.”
Nwagi and Free Boy together with Viva Entertainment want payment Shs 175m as compensation for the unauthorized use of their song in a space of 15 years, 100% in royalties since 2019, costs of the suit and a permanent order restricting the telecom giant from using their work without authorization
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