The case filed last October, by the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) against Young Shall Grow Motors Ltd. (the defendant) came up last week at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
It would be recalled that COSON alleges that the defendant copied and publicized musical works and sound recordings of its members on its buses, terminals and restaurants located within its facilities. COSON argues that the defendant had for several years continued to allow the use of its musical works and sound recordings including “Sanko” by Timaya, “Igboro” by Famous, “Show you the money” by Wizkid, “Baby Hello” by Wande Coal, “Woju” by Kiss Daniel, “Ololufe” by Flavour and Chidinma, among other musical works in its terminals, buses and restaurant without authorization and licensing in breach of the Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004
COSON argues that it entered into copyright licensing agreement with various transport services in Nigeria for the communication to the public of musical works of its members with payment of required royalties of which the defendant fail to acquire the license.
COSON is seeking jury and payment of the sum of N85.8 million against the defendant as royalties from 2014 -2017 and N20 million as both general and exemplary damages for the copyright infringement on the musical works of its members.
When the case came up in court last week, there was no representation from the defendant. Prior to the court date, the defendant counsel had reportedly written to the court requesting an adjournment of the suit.
The defendant denied the allegations of the plaintiff on grounds that the plaintiff is not the sole approved copyright collecting society with mandate to licence copying of musical works in Nigeria. It argues that the issue of whether the plaintiff should be the sole copyright collecting society in Nigeria, had been a subject of pending litigation before some courts in Nigeria.
The case is currently pending.