Safaricom has reached a settlement to pay local musician JB Maina Kshs 15.5 million as compensation for the alleged use of the artiste's 10 songs as ringtones through the company's "Skiza" tunes and "Surf 2 Win Promotion" without his knowledge, a charge that Safaricom had earlier denied.
According to an article published today in Rap Nairobi, Safaricom will pay the compensation within 21 days from Monday, the day when the consent was adopted, failure to which he can move back to court to compel payment of the sum.
"I JB Main, being the plaintiff herein and having been informed of the offer from the defendant, Safaricom, to pay Sh15.5 million, I hereby authorise the firm of Gikunda Miriti and Co Advocates, who are my advocates in the matter, to apply for the case to be marked as settled," says Mr Maina in a document filed in court.
The deal settles a suit that in 2013 saw JB Maina seek contempt of court proceedings against Safaricom and other defendants in the case.
The High Court in May last year restrained Safaricom from storing and selling Maina's Kikuyu songs and directed the MNO to grant the musician access to its head office for him make copies of all purchases and sales records of his songs.
But Maina said Safaricom did not comply with the court order, prompting the contempt of court suit. He asked the court to find Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and three other executives guilty of disobeying court orders issued in May.
The three other executives that had been enjoined in the case are Alex Mwenga, CEO, Interactive Media Services; Sydney Wachira, head of Liberty Afrika and Maurice Okoth, CEO, Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).
The Kshs 15.5 million agreement also settles the case against the other defendants.
The musician filed the suit demanding Kshs 5 million in damages in addition to any money due after accounting for the alleged illegal sale of his songs through promotions.
Safaricom denied the copyright charges, saying it signed a Content Provision Agreement with Interactive Media Services and Liberty Afrika Technologies, which are licensed by MCSK, further maintaining that payments linked to downloads of Maina's music were made to Liberty Afrika.