High Court confirms that consent on image rights is limited, not broad

Mar 13, 2023 | Case Brief, Our Highlights, Top Law Firm

In Caroline Wambui Ndirangu v Nation Media Group Limited & another HCCC No. E149 of 2020, whereby Ong’anya Ombo Advocates LLP represented the Plaintiff, the Honourable Court agreed with our submissions that consent to use a single photo in a collection of photos does not extend to using other photos that were not consented to by the image rights holder.

The Plaintiff had allowed the Defendants to take her photo for the purpose of publishing an article on her beadwork business. The Plaintiff went ahead to approve one photo for use by Nation Media Group; however, the Defendants started using other images of the Plaintiff without the Plaintiff’s consent – the Plaintiff, after the photo shoot, had even advised the Defendants to delete the photos, but the Defendants failed to heed to the request.


The decision is important for any person that takes a photograph depicting someone else and does not secure the authority to use that particular photograph in a specific manner. Furthermore, one will need to be sure what photographs have been consented to by the person having the right to issue such consent. One will also need to find out who has the right to issue consent since “image rights” and “copyright” are distinct.