The Commercial Court in Kampala has ordered telecom giant MTN to avail presidential advisor Al Haji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala all recordings

and storage devises containing clips of ringtones that were produced from his speeches.

Justice Christopher Madrama Wednesday issued the order agreeing that Sebaggala needed the materials to enable him back the case where he sued MTN, claiming it is infringing on his copyright. The suit arose on July 13, with Sebaggala, stating that MTN did not get his consent to use the ringtones
“The applicant (Sebaggala) has satisfied court that the respondent (MTN) is using material in its ringtone it is selling to its customers. The materials he is seeking are commercial in nature. In the premises, an ex-parte(one party) order issues for inspection of materials in the presence of the respondent’s representative,” Madrama ruled.

The materials court ordered for inspection are monthly invoices from the ringtone up-loader SMS Media Limited to MTN to enable Sebaggala ascertain

the amount of money MTN has collected, plus other storages devices like computers and recording devices. Others are copies of ringtones numbers 504529, 50428, 504531, 504539 and 504530.

The order was issued after ex-Kampala Mayor’s lawyer, Nelson Walusimbi made submissions, stating that the materials in MTN’s possession were crucial for his client to justify his claim when hearing of the main suit commences.

Attempts by MTN’s lawyer Paul Kutesa to object, were rejected by the judge who stated that Sebaggala had made an Ex-parte application, as stipulated under Section 45 (2) of the Copyright Act.

Prior, the judge tasked Sebaggala’s lawyer to explain, noting that Sebaggala is a public figure who made the speeches for public consumption. But Walusimbi justified Sebaggala’s stand, saying his copyright was infringed, and that although Sebaggala is a public figure whose speeches were public, the copyright Act provides for limited publication.

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