CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

27 July 2014

Kenya: Business Woman to Sue Microsoft Over Photos

Business lady Susan Wokabi owner of Suzie Beauty shops and CEO of Suzie Beauty Cosmetics, is suing Microsoft under claims that the global company used her images (hands and her son Maceo's foot) on their billboards without her consent.

According to Standard Digital, Susan claims that the photos were handed over to Microsoft's advertising agency by make-up artist and entrepreneur, Muthoni Njomba. "Muthoni approached me a year ago and asked whether she could use my son and I as models for her artwork. She got a professional photographer who took photos of my hands and my son's foot," Suzie told Heads Up, adding that she did not think that they were taking the photos for commercial purposes.

"I was shocked when my husband told me that he had seen the same photo on a Microsoft billboard accompanied by the words 'Art Deeper with Windows 8', " she added

In her demand letter through her lawyer Kittony and Waiyaki Advocates, Suzie wants "a declaration that her constitutional right to property was violated by Microsoft, an order for compensation for general damages and compensation for being used as models, taking into account her celebrity status, recognisability and reputation.

Muthoni Njomba, on the other hand, confirms that indeed she approached Suzie, but denies allegations that she sold the photos to Microsoft. "I really don't understand what went wrong because even so, the photographer had the rights to do whatever he wanted with the photos,"

When reached for comment, Microsoft, through their Communication and Public Relations Representative, Annette Mutuku, promised to get back to us. She however did not by the time we were going to press.

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