Fashionista Nancie Mwai has engaged the services of Kenya's top entertainment and IP lawyer Liz Lenjo-Kags in her pursuit to stop Instagram online stores infringing on her copyright.
Liz Lenjo explained that sending the demand letter is "important because her fans and customer base have been messaging her asking her whether she is working with some of those businesses or supplying merchandise/apparel because some of her outfits like the Twirl Top were designed and commissioned for New Level."
She added, "The confusion arising from this situation affects her business and reputation. It also affects her sales because some are or may purchase from these stores thinking she has endorsed them as a celebrity fashion icon."
The demand letter was sent to 13 stores in total that used her images to sell similar outfits.
It read, "It has come to our attention that the above business accounts including yourselves have used and have been using our client’s images on your social media pages to promote your businesses. The images used on your platforms infringe on our client’s copyrights as established under the Copyright Act."
The letter continued,
"In addition, you have also used our client’s images and likeness (Nancie Mwai) in one way or another which has led to a misrepresentation that she is affiliated to your businesses. We hereby DEMAND that you Cease and Desist from using our clients’ images and that you subsequently take down all our clients’ images on your platforms and issue a public apology."
Speaking to Mpasho, Nancie said,
"I have received messages from a number of clients and fans inquiring if I am working or distributing clothes for some of these businesses. If they did not ask directly, I would be losing out on sales. I don't like how my the confusion the use of my images is causing to my customer and fan base."
Nancie reiterates that she is not in any way affiliated with these brands nor does her store New Level distribute to these brands and they should be careful when shopping online.
The letter concluded,
"Should you comply with the above request, our Clients shall not take any legal action against you and your businesses. Should you fail to comply, our clients shall proceed to take you to court."
"This is a very generous approach by our clients and we suggest that you comply. Please note that by serving this letter by way of WhatsApp or through your social media pages shall suffice and constitute valid service as recognized under Kenyan law."