NCC charges MTN to court for copyright infringement, receives kudos

“This is a signal that there is no more hiding place for copyright infringers in Nigeria . No more sacred cows."

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NCC charges MTN to court for copyright infringement, receives kudosA legal practitioner, Mr Rockson Igelige, has commended the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for filing criminal charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. over alleged copyright infringement.
In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, Igelige said the charge was a welcomed development and a plus for creative industry
BRANDPOWER reports that NCC filed the criminal case against MTN Nigeria, its Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola and two others,  alleging that the defendants infringed on musical works of an artiste, Maleke Idowu Moye.

The lawyer commended the commission for exhibiting zero tolerance for intellectual property theft in the country.

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“No doubt, infringers have sent many copyright owners to an early grave and pauperised uncountable numbers. They are also responsible for striping many of our musicians of their entitlement.

“The whole essence of intellectual property laws is to protect the works of the creators so that they can be rewarded financially.
“The financial remuneration now acts as an incentive to invoke the creative muse for more works.
“This is a signal that there is no more hiding place for copyright infringers in Nigeria . No more sacred cows.
“Everybody, no matter how big or small, will be subjected to the laws of the land,”
igelige said.
In the charge with Number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, NCC alleged that the defendants used musical works and sound recordings of Maleke with subsisting copyright, as Caller Ring Back Tunes, without the authorisation of the artiste.

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

According to NCC, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under section 20 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the Copyright Act, Cap. C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The case has yet to be assigned to any judge, and no date has been fixed for the mention.