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Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria v. Compact Disc Technologies Ltd.

Federal High Court

Judgement Delivered on Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Citation: 51 NIPJD [FHC. 2008] 713/2007, overturned by CA/IL/787/2008
Suit No. FHC/L/CS/713/2007      Jurisdiction: Nigeria

Judgement delivered by Honourable Justice J. E. Shakarho

I. FACTS

On August 2, 2007, the Plaintiff (Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria – MCSN) filed an action (Suit No. FHC/L/CS/713/2007) at the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division, seeking various orders of declaration and perpetual injunction against the Defendants (Compact Disc Technologies and ors.). MCSN sought the following reliefs against the Defendants:

(a). A declaration that the acts of the Defendants without the authority of the Plaintiff, of importing, recording, reproducing, distributing, offering for sale, communicating to the public and publicly performing or playing the said musical works on audio and video devices such as tapes or video compact disc and/or similar devices at its stores, is an infringement of the Plaintiff’s copyright as guaranteed by the Copyright Act Act, 1988 (as amended).

(b). An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants by themselves, assigns, agents and servants from further importing, reproducing, distributing, offering fro sale, publicly performing or playing and communicating to the public, any of the said work(s) for that matter from the Plaintiff’s repertoire without the Plaintiff’s authorization or permission.

(c). An order of perpetual injunction directing the Defendants jointly and severally whether by themselves, assigns, agents and servants from further infringing, or continuing to infringe the copyright in the audio or audio visual musical works from the Plaintiffs repertoire.

(d). An order for delivery up to the Plaintiff of all copies of the said musical works on audio and video devices such as tapes, video compact discs and or similar devices of musical works.

(e). Special damages in the sum of N250,000,000.

(f). General damages in the sum of N100,000,000.

II. JUDGEMENT

Honourable Justice J. E. Shakarho of the Federal High Court concluded that the Plaintiff has the locus standi to institute this action as an owner, assignee or an exclusive licensee of the copyright in compliance with the provisions of section 15(1) of the Copyright Act and not a collecting society as provided for by Section 32 (B) of the Act.

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