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BY Francis Akhalbey, 4:00pm March 19, 2019,

Court orders Kenyan tea agency to pay tea picker $15k compensation for using her photo without consent

Tea pickers in Kenya -- Photo Credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has been ordered to pay 1.5 million Kenyan Shillings (around $15,000) by the Kerugoya High Court as compensation to a woman for using her photo for marketing purposes without her consent.

According to Business Daily Africa, Justice Lucy Gitari ruled in favour of the plaintiff, Ann Njoki Kumena, agreeing that the KTDA used her image on its marketing brochure titled “Kenya Teas: Our field: Our Process” with the intent of making financial gain without her consent, though she had the right to determine how it was used.

“Having considered the purpose for which the photograph was used which was for commercial purposes, a reasonable award ought to be given to the plaintiff. I find that an award of Sh1,500,000 is reasonable in the circumstances,” Gitari ruled.

Opposing the ruling, the KTDA claimed Kumena had consented to the photo op and even posed for it. They also added that she does not own copyright to the image and as such, cannot receive royalties.

Justice Gitari, however, asked the KTDA to provide proof of consent to which they weren’t able to, according to Nairobi News.

“The plaintiff has proved that the defendant took a photograph of herself, without her consent and that the defendant used her photographs for commercial purposes that is, advertisement of its products. No compensation was paid,” she said.

Justice Gitari also added Kumena’s right to privacy, which is protected by Article 31 of the constitution had been violated, hence the judgement in her favour as her image was used for commercial purposes, Nairobi News further reported.

“Where a right is violated and the culprit has gained from that violation, the person is entitled to damages,” Gitari said.

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: April 9, 2020


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