Urbane Entertainment and three other applicants have dragged Nile Breweries to the High court over the authorship of the music video award script titled ‘Club Music Video Awards’.
The other three applicants are Brian Banya, Sylvester Lalum and Peter Katonene. Through their lawyers, Karuhanga, Tabaro and Associates, Urbane Entertainment claim that the music video awards organized and sponsored by Nile Breweries on Friday were their idea, which was ‘irregularly stolen’ from them.
The applicants further claim that they shared the idea with Nile Breweries for funding. However, Nile Breweries, without permission, decided to implement the idea as its own.
“The respondent’s infringement of our copyright has denied us the chance to commercially exploit this copyright, and further has exposed us to potential lawsuits as we had already entered into service agreements with various service providers such as Fenon Events. Yet the respondent has already reaped from the infringement and is adamant about accounting to us the proceeds from the exploitation of our work, “reads their plaint.
In his affidavit, Brian Banya claims that in January 2010, he and other applicants came up with a Television production for music Video Awards to be sponsored by Nile Breweries brand, Club beer. Banya affirms that from the interaction with Nile Breweries, the company accepted to join them and through its conduct, they were led to believe that they would finance the production as a sponsor.
He adds that following the sharing of vital information, budgets and plans, Nile Breweries further asked them to change the name of the show and adopt the name Club Music video Award instead of Uganda/Urbane Video Award.
Banya contends that they changed the name after they were made to believe, by Nile Breweries, that it would finance the venture. They want court to award them compensation for copyright infringement and proceeds from Friday’s video awards event.
In response, Nile Breweries said the claims were false allegations intended to either frustrate the awards event or extort money. Through Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), Nile Breweries explained that it received a proposal concept for music video awards from Urbane, but rejected it for failure to meet the required standards.
“As you might be aware, the legislation on copyrights does not accord protection to concepts, and the said concept has been in the public domain, both in Uganda and other jurisdictions. Therefore, your clients [Urbane] can’t purport to have reserved their right to intellectual property,” reads Nile Breweries response.
Nile Breweries further avers that it organized its own music video awards event, based on international standards.