Sebaggala storms MTN over ringtones


Former Kampala mayor Al Haji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala Thursday stormed MTN head offices in Kampala demanding the audio tapes containing caller tunes in his voice. 

Sebaggala said he wants to use the tapes as evidence in a law suit he filed against the company where he wants MTN to pay him sh2b. He held talks with MTN top officials over the matter. Sebaggala sued telecom giant MTN Uganda Limited, claiming it has infringed on his copyright by using his speeches as ringtones without his authorization.

In the suit filed on July 13 at the Commercial Court in Kampala, Sebaggala is demanding for all the proceeds collected by MTN in relation to the ringtones.

Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorized use of works owned by a copyright holder who enjoys exclusive rights. Additionally, he wants damages plus costs of the suit.

The ex-mayor is also demanding a 20% monthly interest on the ascertained audited figure, together with a 20% monthly interest on damages and costs of the suit, from the date of judgment until full payment.

Sebaggala wants court to permanently restrain MTN from further violation of his purported copyright. He is seeking a declaration that MTN’s use of his speeches is an infringement on his copyright. In his plaint, Sebaggala states that the speeches were authored in the recent past, with the latest being one year ago at Parliament.

He alleges that without his consent, MTN proceeded to use the speeches for selfish commercial gain. According to him, MTN and the purchaser of the ringtone are in a syndicate, and that the benefit of this relationship is unacceptable in the free and fair progressive market economies.