Winky D Sues Magamba TV US$12 000 For Copyright Breach

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By Mary Taruvinga

PROMINENT Zimdancehall artiste, Wallace Chirumiko, popularly known as Winky D has slapped Magamba TV Network with a US$12 000 lawsuit for infringement of copyright after network reproduced and played his song title “Parliament”.

The musician is arguing the move had an effect of portraying him as someone who is aligned to a political party yet his musical is purely for entertainment.

Chirumiko said the move by Magamba TV resulted in him losing revenue after some his fans shunned his music.

He is demanding US$8 000 for infringement of copyrights and US$4 000 for loss of income respectively.

In his summons before the High Court, Chirumiko also cited Vigilance Music, which is contracted to produce his music as the second plaintiff.

“Plaintiff’s claim against defendant is payment of damages in the sum of US$8 000 for infringement of the copyright subsisting in the original work, that is the lyrics, the music composition and sound recording entitled Parliament,” wrote his lawyers.

“Plaintiff is also demanding payment of damages in the sum of US$4 000 for loss of income arising from unauthorised publication of the original work entitled Parliament by defendant plus costs of suit.”

Chirumiko said he is the author of the original work.

“The plaintiff exclusively licensed the copyrights in the original work to Vigilance Music. On 16 May 2020, Magamba Network in its weekly show concept entitled “In Case You Missed It” ran a campaign titled “Reconveneparly” in which it produced and circulated a video hereinafter referred to as the offending work via various social media platforms,” the court application reads.

Chirimuko’s lawyers added; “The offending work was socio-political video which was accompanied by and contained a reproduction of the original work.”

According to the summons, a letter dated April 18 2020, from Magamba TV’s lawyers, purportedly conceded to the airing of Winky D’s song.

The musician’s lawyers said the aforesaid conduct was not authorised by Chirumiko and while the work was used for purposes of reporting current events, it’s use by the defendant did not constitute fair dealing as it adversely affected the original song.

“The plaintiff is an apolitical musician and the thrust of his music is purely entertainment. The use of the work by defendant has the effect innocent or otherwise, of suggesting to the public that Chirumiko was aligned to a certain political idea/movement which suggestion resulted in persons opposed to the said political idea/movement shunning the plaintiff and his music leading to reduction of income on the part of the plaintiff.”

“In the consequence, the unlawful conduct of the defendant, the plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of US$12 000 that is US$8 000 for infringement of the copyright and US $4 000 for loss of income,” the court was told.

The matter is pending.