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Court stops Black Market Records from interfering with Bruno K’s songs

Bruno Kiggundu a.k.a Bruno K signed to USA-based record label Black Market Records in 2020

Court has issued an interim order stopping a record company based in the United States of America from interfering with local artist Bruno Kiggundu commonly known as Bruno K’s songs.

On November 24, 2022, Mr Kiggundu sued Black Market Records Entertainment – SMC LTD together with Cedric Singleton Lychern and Kisame Shadrack Shagaf claiming that they had made false copyright complaints against him in bad faith to YouTube, a video-sharing platform, which led the platform to strike down his songs and disable his channel.

Justice Patricia Mutesi of the Commercial Division of the High Court while issuing the interim order reasoned that there is a real likelihood that this conduct of raising copyright claims against Mr Kiggundu’s songs will continue and that more of his works will be struck down from YouTube and other music streaming platforms even before the disposal of the substantive application for a temporary injunction.

“In any case, since the ownership of the copyright in the applicant’s (Kiggundu) songs is still an issue in the main suit, the interests of justice would be best served if the respondents allow this Court to first conclusively determine this ownership through a full trial before making further claims to third party music streaming platforms to the detriment of due process and fair hearing,” Justice Mutesi ruled.

Adding…“An interim order is hereby issued restraining the respondents, their agents, and/or anyone deriving authority under them from directly or indirectly making any copyright ownership claims in respect of any of the applicant’s songs to any media institution or music streaming platform until the hearing and determination of the application for a temporary injunction.”

Court records indicate that the first respondent which is the record company did not file an affidavit opposing the application not even a rejoinder in reply in the main suit but the second and third respondents (Lychern and Shagaf) in their affidavits in reply denied any responsibility for the impugned copyright claims and maintained that Mr Kiggundu did not have any cause of action against them.

Background

According to the court recounts Mr Kiggundu signed a one-year exclusive recording artist agreement with Black Market Records LLC, a US-based company, on May 12, 2020, and was represented in the transaction by Lychern and Shagaf.

Under the agreement, Black Market Records LLC was to finance the recording and production of Mr Kiggundu’s songs in exchange for exclusive copyright in the songs, however latter insists that he only recorded one song for the duration of the agreement and that he elected not to renew the agreement after its expiry in May 2021.

jkigongo@ug.nationmedia.com

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