Why Is It Zim Brands Have No Respect For Copyright Laws On The Internet?

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

If you scroll through Yomilk Zimbabwe’s FB page there’s a video promoting their  products through a recipe for ‘Cream Cheese Blueberry Cake.’ The problem with this video is that it isn’t theirs. The video they posted was actually ripped from an American YouTube channel, Yummy PH. Yomilk simply covered up Yummy PH’s logo with their own and then encouraged followers to try the cake and purchase their cream cheese, which is available at most retail outlets.

Is it really your cake Yomilk?

This just got me thinking about how local brands operate when it comes to property rights on the internet. Property rights are theoretical constructs in economics for determining how a resource or economic good is used and owned.

It seems established brands in Zimbabwe do not seem to understand the concepts of ownership and the impact they make when using intellectual products without acknowledging rightful owners. The use of content without permission from content creators is one of the major bottlenecks that creators face.

Businesses and people, in general, need to understand that users are making a living off the content they create. It seems unfair that after someone invests time, effort and money into producing content, an established brand sees fit to take that product and claim ownership by slapping their own logo onto that product.

Established businesses need to understand that smaller brands are looking up to them and will imitate them. So from an ethical standpoint, they are letting down the companies that are in their infancy. The more established players usually dictate culture in a given industry and if the culture of stealing content from creators is normalized then a cycle is created and disrupting this cycle gets harder as more companies follow these practices.

The fact that established businesses are leading the charge of disregarding copyright laws is more disappointing because they have the resources to actually hire content creators locally and create employment. It’s a disservice to the people they serve and themselves when they take this route.

I have given the example of an American video but content is being stolen from Zimbabweans too and by even bigger brands than Yomilk. This could come from the careless mistake of thinking there is no ownership on the internet. That’s why you see a lot of people just downloading stock images without regard to whether the omages are free for them to download or not.

This problem will persist but established brands should at least know better. If not for the good of the ecosystem then they should just respect iP to avoid unnecessary lawsuits.



  1. annonymous

    I believe it is a common mindset among most Zimbabwean brands and companies that you can just copy, edit and past. This has been the case because no one values being original or thinking outside the box. It is seen as a waste of money and time.

    Some of the problems that lead to this copy, edit paste syndrome is the lack of adequate planning for web content. Most people do things in a rushed fashion cause there’s always a false sense of urgency in organisations.

  2. Taffy

    It starts when we r young where we “burn” music CDs or copy music from one person’s laptop to my phone or flash drive. That culture continues wherever I go. Where I work now, we use lots of pics and icons to make presentations and we buy them. This has even inspired me to learn how to make icons coz sometimes we don’t get exactly what we want. Imagine I finally do that and someone just download and use them for free. Zim has to change this mentality. By the way, how many companies and individuals there have a valid license for their Windows OS?

    1. Brendon

      You are correct Taffy and I am sure every person in Tech Zim is guilty of this even if it is one song !!

    2. kilotango

      yomilk have plagiarised someone elses hard work, by putting their logo over the original owners… thats completely different to software/music piracy.

  3. Brendon

    To comment as Yomilk Director , You are very correct that IP is ignored in Zim and we understand that wrong has been done here but it is not meant with any mail intent and brand theft we are merely using the recipe to promote the use of our cream cheese as you cannot source the American cream cheese locally.
    It seems designer and posting have some areas of communication issues as I agree the name should apply and that our true goal is to promote the cheese to use with this recipe.
    This will be rectified
    But then must we ask who did she get the recipe from originally ? Was this not content theft as well !
    We will respect this and have this changed immediately as we are a company that holds our integrity in high regard , So thanks for your public humiliation but we will deal with it.
    I wonder how many copied programmes , Software and music you and your employees hold maybe do a study on that , would be interesting

    1. Anonymous

      Just make your own videos period.

    2. Don

      Brendon, if you use people’s videos, the least you should do is acknowledge the source and not cover up the creator’s logo.

    3. kilotango

      i must say, i detect some serious sour grapes here. this is not about other people, but about what yomilk has done… so rather fix that, put policies in place so that it doesnt happen again…and move on. had techzim not done this, you may have received a take down notice from the actual author of that content.

    4. Jenny

      Hi Brendon, as a youtube creator myself, the way around this would have been to credit the creators youtube video on your post with a link. Youtube videos are monetised and if the or if the creator got wind of this they would have a case to seek some sort of licensing fees from you or worse you don’t want the Google giant making an example of you. I’m a Zimbabwean who makes youtube videos. For a small fee I can make a video featuring your products. Here is my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkffd6R1FarCMgaofj9C1IQ.

    5. RsTade

      SORRY NOT SORRY . Sorry we got caught. Not sorry about about what we did. That is what Brendon is saying here. IP theft is not just morally wrong I am pretty sure it’s very illegal internationally and somewhat illegal in Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe laws can be behind the times) . Yo Milk could have made their own video using their own product instead the company just looked for a well presented video that used cream cheese in the recipe presented and flat out stole it. And then misrepresented it as their own creation. This is the very definition of Intellectual Property theft. Yomilk director Brendon says that the company holds its integrity in high regard, but integrity is not something that you put down and pick up whenever it’s convenient, especially from a company that manufactures food. I mean if they are willing to steal to save money on a short video. You have to start to wonder what else does the company cut corners on?

  4. Professional Graphic Designer

    It starts with the Graphic designers….but wait! Why do they do that? because companies pay nuts for adverts and marketing promos. They think Graphic design is just copy and paste….the process need to be appreciated. However, plagiarism is an offense which might get the designer and the brand in big trouble.

  5. been arounf the braai a few times.

    its to do with weak copyright and IP law in this place. they do it because its easy, and more importantly its cheap. I mean pay $500 to have a video short for the purpose, or just take someone elses video and put your logo on for free? Like is that even a decision?

  6. Anderson

    We are all GUILTY as a nation when it comes to property rights and copyright laws. As long as we have a system that compromises impartiality we ain’t going anywhere. For example our artists invest their sweat to entertain us with their music but the best thing we do is pay them back with piracy.

  7. RsTade

    So Yomilk broke several laws and several End User Licence Agreements(EULA) . For starters they stole the video from Yummy PH on YOUTUBE (At least 2 EULA’s broken) and then used some sort of software to remove Yummy PH’s logo and branding on the video (EULA of whatever software used prohibits this) . And then posted the video on Facebook a completely different platform from YouTube (2 EULA’s broken) after misrepresenting the video as the original creation of a Zimbabwean company (at least 2 international and local laws broken). I wonder what Yomilk is going to do for an encore?

  8. Chelsea

    Please could you ensure this post is taken down as per our conversation regarding Yomilk and posting.

    We have the right permissions in order to do this and this is sadly a false claim to an up and coming brand

    Much sore

  9. Anonymous

    Covering up the original logo meant you knew what you were doing was wrong, please accept your theft graciously…On a brighter note I will start following your page Yomilk, didn’t know about it before this post.

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