Copyright in Photographs: Daily Sun Newspaper Gets Burned by ‘Sun Girl’

SUN PUBLISHING LIMITED

May 31, 2016 —  The Daily Sun Newspaper has been accused of “illegally and criminally publishing” a photograph in the newspaper’s May 25, 2016 edition on its dating ‘Sun Girl’ page. Daily Sun allegedly published the photograph of Ms. Akinyemi Temitope, a student of Delta State Polytechnic with the name ‘Sadiyat’ and telephone number 09057312447.

According to her lawyers, Felix, Igelige & Associates, the publication has caused Ms. Temitope embarrassment and emotional trauma leading to the break-up of her five year old relationship. In a letter sent by her lawyers, she is currently demanding N500 million as damages for copyright infringement and illegal publication. In addition, she is demanding N500 million for invasion of privacy.

SUN GIRL

“Our client is the author and copyright owner of the photograph that your publishing company used on page 3 (three) of the Daily Sun of 25/5/2016 at volume 12 at Number 3413 bearing the name ‘SADIYAT’ with the Telephone No. 09057312447 under the heading SUN GIRL.

Our client does not bear such name as ‘Sadiyat’ and she does not use that mobile number. The image in that photograph is our client and it was our client that created that photograph which by extension is the copyright owner of that photograph your Publishing Company used as mentioned above without her permission, consent or authorization.

As the copyright owner of the above mentioned artistic work (photograph), our client has a number of exclusive rights defined by the Copyright Act, Cap 28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. These include the right to reproduce the works, and to publish and communicate same to the public (including by way of sale and broadcast, both conventionally and or via the internet). It is an infringement of copyright to do any of these and other protected acts in relation to the whole or a substantial part of a copyright work or to authorize anyone to do such and act or acts on your behalf without the permission or license of the copyright owner.

Our client’s attention has been drawn to your use, without permission or licence of her artistic work (photograph). Specifically, you have appropriated the work as a photograph in your Daily Sun of 25/5/16 at page 3 with the heading SUN GIRL in your volume 12 No. 3413 publication and have sold same to your customers nationwide. This artistic work (photograph) of our client can also be downloaded from your website too at www.sunnewsonline.ng

By not obtaining our client’s prior permission, consent or license before engaging in this act, your company’s conduct amounts to flagrant and deliberate infringement and derogatory use of her copyright as well as invasion of her privacy”.

At the time of going to press, the Daily Sun was yet to offer any explanation to the letter as to how it came into possession of the photograph. It will be interesting to see how the matter plays out in the coming days and weeks.

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About Bob Aroture 536 Articles
Bob is a Senior Editor and Content Development Manager at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch. He holds a BS degree, with a major in biochemistry. He works directly with the Newsroom Team. His focus areas are technology and innovation, and pharmaceutical technology. Email: editorial@nlipw.com