Nigeria’s popular online fashion and beauty retailer, JUMIA, is currently embroiled in a case of unauthorized use of image rights of veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, (RMD) on ‘Jumia Fashion’ Instagram page without the actor’s permission.
According to RMD’s publicist, this unauthorized use of the image has been ongoing and has had the effect of portraying to unsuspecting customers that Jumia enjoys the patronage of or endorsement of RMD.
RMD is a well known brand ambassador for various companies and his image has been widely and regularly used for product placement in a variety of platforms. He has always jealously guarded his image and has been meticulous about the type of products and services associated therewith. Jumia’s unilateral and unauthorized use of RMD’s image for the advancement of its products and website has undoubtedly enhanced Jumia’s brand awareness and created a buzz about Jumia’s fashion line at the expense of RMD.
RMD has since instructed his lawyer, Mena Ajakpovi of Messrs. Abraham & Co. to engage Jumia and seek redress at the law court if they are defiant. Jumia’s response has definitely been defiant and unapologetic. They admitted that they had taken the images from the actor’s page but that it was not an infringement of his copyright since the image was on a public Instagram platform. This is even though they are using the image to promote their online fashion trade on their website page! They offered to take the page down but have shown neither remorse nor offered any conciliatory compensation!
Their defiance has left the ace actor with no alternative but to instruct his lawyers to sue JUMIA for punitive and exemplary damages for the infringement of his image rights.