Evans Gikunda, who is the former Rdio Africa Group web developer had taken to court Safaricom and Rdio Africa Group accusing them of infringing on his intellectual rights for entering in a deal to launch a mobile application dubbed Songa by Safaricom.
Mr Evans Gikunda, a former web developer at Radio Africa, claims that he developed the application for streaming music and videos before joining the company and shared it with the firm’s CEO Patrick Quarcoo. Mr Quarcoo allegedly proposed a partnership deal with Mr Gikunda for ownership of the new application, through a separate holding company.
But he says after he left the company, Mr Quarcoo sold the right of ownership of the application to Safaricom without involving Mr Gikunda.
“That honourable court do declare that the plaintiff’s intellectual property rights in the platform, known as ‘Songa by Safaricom’ have been and are likely to be continuously infringed, contravened and/or violated and therefore the plaintiff needs protection,” seeks Mr Gikunda.
Mr Gikunda says the application he developed, which he initially called platform, is to enable users to stream music, listen to FM stations, watch videos and view song lyrics from various sources and connect with other users.
He is asking for general damages and orders compelling Radio Africa and Safaricom to reveal how much they have so far made from user subscription to the application.
Telecommunications company Safaricom is looking to bite a bigger chunk of the multi-billion shilling music business through a new music streaming service, Songa.
The application launched on Monday evening has a catalogue of 2.5 million songs from 400,000 local and international artists. Songa is an evolution for Safaricom, which has already been a player in the music industry with its Skiza ring back tunes services through which it paid Sh1.4 billion to musicians last year.
“Songa therefore is an additional revenue stream for artistes riding on the success of Skiza,” said the telco yesterday in a statement.
The application is currently only available to Android users.