KAMPALA – There’s a looming legal battle between Daily Monitor photojournalist Alex Esagala and The New Vision Printing and Publishing Co Ltd.
Lawyers representing the popular photojournalist have now asked The New Vision Printing and Publishing Co. ltd to pay usage fees and damages of UGX.400m or face Court for infringing on Mr. Esagala photo copyrights.
Through his lawyers of Kaggwa & Kaggwa Advocates, Mr. Esagala claims that his award-winning photograph appeared in Bukedde newspaper on November 25, 2019, without his consent, hence demanding the paper to pay for damages over the great risk he takes while taking the said photo and skill while executing the same.
“Your actions of publishing the same [photo] without our client’s consent amounts to copyright infringement contrary to copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, 2006,” lawyers told New Vision, accusing the government paper of using Esagala copyrighted photos in an article “Ebirina okukolebwa okulwanyisa obwegugungo muyunivasite” without his permission.
The article, which was published on November 25, 2019, was about the unending strikes in universities published by Bukedde, a Luganda paper of the New Vision Printing and Publishing Co Ltd with a photo taken by Esagala in 2018.
The photo was used to illustrate the story about the strikes without permission, so Mr. Esagala has threatened to sue the paper demanding UGX. 400,000,000 for the infringed photo.
Lawyers have also in a legal notice addressed to Mr. Robert Kabushenga, the Chief Executive Officer of The New Vision Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd said that they have instructions to sue should the company fail to pay the above-mentioned sums together with 10% of the said sum as Lawyers’ fees within 7 days from the date of receipt of a legal notice.
“In the foregoing, we request for usage fees and damages of UGX.400, 000,000 due to the great risk our client takes while taking the said photo and skill while executing the same,” lawyers added.
The New Vision Printing and Publishing co. ltd was directed to respond by paying the damages within seven days of face infringement lawsuit from popular photographer.