BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been taken to the High Court by a businessman, who is claiming $6 027 000 from the national broadcaster for using his original audio-visual works.
Dillan Prinsloo is suing ZBC for copyright infringement and the latter is yet to respond to the lawsuit.
According to court papers, Prinsloo is the owner and author of certain audio-visual works which he created in 2017, entitled Beautiful Zimbabwe, consisting of original visual clips numbering up to 41.
Among the visual clips are those titled Sunrise Time lapse, Nyanga Mountains, Vumba Mountains, Balancing Rocks, Gorges Sunrise, Chilijo Cliffs, and many more.
“The original audio-visual works aforesaid are eligible for copyright in terms of S10 (1) (d) of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act chapter 26:05 and Prinsloo, as the author and owner, at the material time when the original audio visual works aforesaid were first made, was a citizen of Zimbabwe and, therefore, a qualified person in terms of section 9 (2)(a) of the Act,” he said in his declaration.
According to the businessman, the original audio works were first published in Zimbabwe in 2017 and that at all relevant times he was the author and owner of the copyright on the original works and still remained the owner and author.
“During the period June 2019 to September 2019, the defendant (ZBC) directly copied Prinsloo’s original audio-visual works aforesaid, and broadcast them in its television in whole and in combination with other works,” he said adding that ZBC’s conduct was not authorised by him and did not fall under the category of any of the acts permitted by Part III of the Copyright Act.”
“In the premises, the conduct by the defendant aforesaid constitutes infringement of the plaintiff’s copyright on his original audio-visual works, in that the defendant, not being owner of the copyright, and without the plaintiff’s authority, copied or caused to copy the plaintiff’s original visual works aforesaid, in Zimbabwe which plaintiff as the owner has the exclusive rights to do or authorise.”
Prinsloo said at all relevant times, ZBC knew or alternatively, reasonably ought to have known that its conduct constituted infringement of his works.
“The unlawful conduct of the defendant caused plaintiff damage of $6 027 000 as he cannot, as a result of the defendant’s infringement, sell or license the original audio-visual works aforesaid,” he said.