Wangechi Tells Tecno To Pay up for Using Her Photo, But The Law is Against Her


    wangecRapper Wangechi has launched a social media campaign to compel Tecno Mobile to pay her for using her photo in social media adverts.

    In a video posted on social media yesterday, she claimed that the mobile company ran an advert on Facebook and Instagram in June to advertise one of their phones. They used her image but never bothered to contact her or ask for permission.

    wangechiBut there’s a disagreement on whether Wangechi is entitled to any money.

    Though we don’t have all the information, it is possible that a photographer gave Tecno mobile the rights to use the photo.

    Unlike what most people think, the rights to a photo are held by the creator, not the subject. Unless otherwise expressly stated, photographers own the rights to pictures they takes.


    What you actually pay for is the photographer’s time and the allocated number of prints. The photographer holds the right to reproduce.

    There’s an exception to this in case the photographer is an employee of a company on whose behalf the photos were taken. In this case, the company owns the copyright.

    However, there’s the issue of image rights.

    In 2012, Dennis Oliech protested that his image rights were being violated by EABL when they used this photo in billboards.

    EABL was then Harambee Stars sponsors and they flatly refused to pay him. EABL had an agreement with the entire Harambee Stars team, and they used that to justify using this picture, even though it only has 3 players in it.

    Oliech argued that they should have sought his individual consent plus that of McDonald Mariga and Bob Mugalia, but that did not hold much water legally.

    The Kenyan Copyright Act is silent on image rights.

    In Wangechi’s case, it would help to understand the circumstances in which the photo was taken, so as to know who holds more rights to the photo.

    Wangechi may have legally given away any claim on the photo unknowingly. It is claimed that it was submitted to a competition run by the mobile company, more reason why you should read terms and conditions.

    If Wangechi takes this up further, she’ll win public sympathy, but would most likely lose in court.

    Which one of these strongly describes your thoughts at this moment?

    Source: Nairobi Wire