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KTN Accused Of Stealing From An International Documentary



Cropped image KTN is accused of stealing.

Kenya Network News(KTN) is on the spot following accusations of intellectual property. In a protest post, the team behind The Letter, a documentary that has gained international recognition. The Letter is both a story of complex familial dispute, and a tale of everyday class, religious and education contestations in contemporary Kenya.

Now the filmmakers are accusing KTN of stealing their poster image and cropped it to fit their program promo. Below is the statement;

We are sad & disappointed to see that broadcaster KTN Kenya are using an image cropped from our film poster for a COVID-awareness campaign on national television – without requesting permission. The commercial continues to be broadcast in prime-time, despite our lawyer’s letters to cease & desist (which has been ignored) forcing us to now take legal action in court.

The Letter Poster.

We are pleased that #KTN has taken initiative to educate the public about COVID19. It’s our joint responsibility to educate & protect each other, especially the elderly. It is therefore fitting to see that the poster of Karisa and his Nyanya was used for this advert.

The Letter is about raising awareness on the current elderly abuse going on in Kenya and is calling us all to action to protect them. So we find it rather contradictory that Karisa and his grandma weren’t given a right to choose whether their photo can be used on the advert.

While the advert would do public good, what the family and grandma would have needed right now is some help and relief to overcome these trying circumstances, a payment form KTN would have done them a lot more good. At this time, the elderly are vulnerable. It’s the worst time to take advantage of them.

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In Kenya we take it too lightly the importance of consent in use of private photos for commercial use. Too often as creatives we take a lot of time to get consent from our subjects but then have our years of trust written off in one advert.

We hope this can bring a spotlight to the many creatives in Kenya who deal with this kind of treatment on a regular basis. It’s a shame that local media organisations offer little support to filmmakers, and instead prefer to plagiarise and exploit our works for free. Have you experienced something similar? We’d love to hear from you.

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