United Family International Church (UFIC) has been taken to the Harare Civil Court for alleged copyright infringement and refusing to pay a man $5 000.
The church, based along Fife Avenue, Harare, and represented by Pastor Lasten Taonezvi, appeared before Harare Civil Court magistrate Mr Brighton Pabwe who deferred the matter to a later date.
The court heard that sometime in November 2015, Anesu Mutodi – a graphic designer – communicated to Pastor Taonezvi that he had created a new set design which he believed would transform the UFI stage’s look and feel.
Mutodi told the court that Pastor Taonezvi requested him to send soft copies of three-dimensional designs.
He indicated to the pastor that he would need to have a non-disclosure agreement before he released his work.
The court was told that Pastor Taonezvi insisted that he sends the 3D design urgently as it needed to be approved before the cross-over night service scheduled for December 31 the same year.
Mutodi told the court that he obliged and availed his designs on flash disk to Pastor Taonezvi and waited for his approval.
It is alleged that the two agreed that Mutodi would be paid $5 000 if the design was approved.
Mutodi never got any feedback from the pastor.
He told the court that he was dismayed to discover that the defendant had proceeded to set up its stage for the Cross-over service according to his design without his authority.
However, despite demand for compensation by Mutodi, UFIC failed to compensate him for the unauthorised use of his intellectual property.
In UFIC’s defence, the pastor told the court that Mutodi only appropriated the copyrighted material he had worked on therefore weakening any prospects of success and questions the bona fides of his application.