Tuesday, 26 March 2024 04:46

NCC sues MTN, Fun Mobile for criminal infringement of Nigerian artist’s copyright

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Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has filed criminal charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd and four others over alleged copyright infringement.

The case with the number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 was filed at the federal high court in Abuja. 

Four other defendants in the case are Karl Toriola, chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria; Nkeakam Abhulimen; Fun Mobile Ltd, a telecommunications service provider; and Yahaya Maibe, its CEO.

In the three-count charge, NCC alleged that the defendants, between 2010 and 2017, “offered for sale, sold and traded for business, infringed musical works of Maleke Moye, an artiste, without his consent and authorisation”.

The commission alleged that the defendants used Maleke’s musical works and sound recordings with subsisting copyright, known as “caller ring back tunes” without the authorisation of the artiste.

The musical works and sound recordings of the musician allegedly infringed upon include 911, Minimini-Wana Wana, Stop Racism, Ewole, 911 instrumental, Radio, Low Waist, and No bother.

The defendants were also alleged to have illegally distributed the musical works to their subscribers, without authorisation, thereby infringing on the rights of the artiste.

In the third count, the defendants were alleged of having in their possession, the musical works and sound recordings of the artiste, other than for their personal or domestic use. 

The copyright commission said the alleged offences are punishable under section 20 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the Copyright Act, Cap. C28, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The case is yet to be assigned to any judge and no date has been set for mention. 

 

The Cable

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