Equity has been ordered to pay a student Sh5 million for using his song illegally.
Equity Bank was ordered to pay a student Sh5 million for the unauthorized use of his intellectual property, a song he wrote in 2013.
In addition to compensating Mr Edwin Obiero Nyadida for the unauthorized use of his musical work, Justice Wilfrida Okwany ordered the lender, along with Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and the police, to pay him Sh250,000 for malicious prosecution.
Mr Nyadida claimed he was hauled into court and charged with forgery for attempting to recover his rights from the lender. Three years later, the case was dismissed.
Mr. Nyadida's song was used to promote the bank's "Wings to Fly" program, which provides education sponsorship to bright but needy children.
"When the petitioner's music 'Wings to Fly' was played in court during the hearing, this court had the opportunity to hear it." "I noticed a striking similarity between the aforementioned song and the one used by the bank to promote its program, also titled 'Wings to Fly,'" the judge said.
Justice Okwany went on to say that Mr Nyadida established that the lender used and continues to use the music he created without his permission or payment, infringing on his intellectual property rights.
She found it ironic that the bank, which promotes the education of bright needy students through its program, chose to treat Mr Nyadida, a student, in such a cruel manner.
Mr Nyadida testified in court that he wrote the song in May 2013 and registered it with the Music Copyright Society alongside other songs.
He told the court that after Equity approached him with a proposal to publicize its education program, he wrote the song. He was in high school at the time.
Mr Nyadida claims that he demanded Sh10 million for the work after the bank liked the song. Instead, the bank offered him a scholarship, but his parents declined and chose the money.
He claimed that the bank pulled out of the deal, which led to his arrest. He and his brother were then charged with forgery.
The bank admitted, via Edward Muchai, that he met him in 2013 when he came to his office with music on a CD that he wanted him to listen to. Mr Muchai stated that Mr Nyadida's song was an adaptation of the "Reunion" song, which can be found online.