On 12th November 2020, our client from Qatar sought for legal assistance from LLAC over copyright infringement and invasion of privacy.
Our client who was referred to LLAC by a friend complained that infringers illegally used her son’s photo to portray pornographic material. They turned an innocent child’s photo into an indecent image which was then circulated to different WhatsApp groups and sites. They never consulted our client, neither did they get consent from her on the use of her son’s photo.
Taking into account that our client was based in Qatar and the infringers were operating from Nairobi city county, video conferencing was necessary.
Ingrid Rose Owele, Legal Officer at LLAC who was handling the matter managed to call one of the infringers, and after a lengthy discussion about the case, she was able to negotiate and convince the accused to take down the photos from all the sites and WhatsApp groups.
The matter was successfully solved within a few hours. We got confirmation from our client that the indecent photos of her son had been taken down. Our client was happy and satisfied with our services.
In copyright infringement matters, parties are expected to try to resolve the dispute before taking any court action. To facilitate this, parties are encouraged to use a more informal dispute resolution mechanism. In this case, we chose to solve the dispute through an alternative dispute resolution mechanism called negotiation.
All you need to know about copyright for photos
When it comes to sharing other people’s photos, there are a few restrictions. When someone creates an original image, they automatically own rights to that image. Copyright protects the original expression of an idea that has been reduced to a tangible form and this includes transcript copies and copies made in the digital environment from being copied without authority. Consequently, when one of the rights to that image is used without the creator’s consent, copyright infringement is said to have been committed.
Copyright applies to any medium. This means that you must not reproduce copyright protected work in another medium without permission. This includes, publishing photos on the internet and other communication channels.
Furthermore, the infringers’ actions were contrary to the constitutional provisions against invasion of privacy. Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is central to the protection of human dignity and forms the basis of any democratic society. Article 31(c) of the Constitution provides that every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed. Therefore, by revealing our client’s son’s photo in an indecent manner, the infringers were in clear violation of our client and her son’s constitutional rights.