- An alumnus of Machakos University is smiling all the way to the bank after a court awarded her Sh700,000 following a suit she filed against her former school for using her image in an advertisement without her consent.
- Machakos University, in its response, acknowledged the unauthorised use of Catherine’s image.
An alumnus of Machakos University is smiling all the way to the bank after a court awarded her Sh700,000 following a suit she filed against her former school for using her image in an advertisement without her consent.
High Court Judge Margaret Waringa ruled that the institution violated the former student identified as Catherine Njeri’s fundamental right to privacy and human dignity when it used her image in a commercial advertisement.
Waringa ordered Machakos University to pay Catherine a sum of Sh700,000 for damages.
“A declaration is hereby issued that the petitioner’s intellectual property rights, right of publicity, and personal rights were infringed when the respondent decided to publish her image in advertising and marketing the computer packages courses offered for financial gain without seeking the consent from the petitioner’s consent,” Waringa ruled.
Njeri filed a petition on October 26, 2021, in which she claimed the institution’s motive was to get more students to enrol in courses offered at the University at Sh7,000.
“On April 10, 2021, the petitioner (Njeri) discovered that her photograph had been used by the respondent (university) in advertising and marketing courses it offered,” the petition read in part.
Upon seeing her image being used in an advertisement for the university, she sought an explanation for why it was using her image without her permission.
Njeri further alleged the image in question was taken by an unauthorised person acting on behalf of the institution.
She opined the institution violated her right to privacy and her right to freedom when it published her photo for the institution’s commercial gain albeit with no monetary advantage to her.
According to the court documents, Catherine also said her intellectual property rights were violated as a result of the same publications.
Machakos University, in its response, acknowledged the unauthorised use of Catherine’s image.
However, the institution said it does not engage in the commercial of profitable activities because it is partially funded by the public.
The institution also said the photos on its website portray Catherine in a positive light because she was an alumnus of the university and graduated from there.
Catherine asked for Sh10 million to be paid to her for damages before the court determined on August 3, 2022, that there was no evidence of proof of damage, loss or injury to her person.