February 13, 2015 — Musician, Paul Play Dairo, has filed Suit No. FHC/L/CS/581/2014 for Copyright Infringement. The case, which is before Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos, is against Etisalat (Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd), one of the big telecommunications service providers in Nigeria and Optima Media Group. According to the Plaintiff, the 1st Defendant used his song ‘Mosorire’ in its popular reality TV singing competition, ‘Nigerian Idol’ for two consecutive years without paying him.
In his supporting affidavit, the Plaintiff averred:
“I am the copyright owner of the work named and tagged ‘Mosorire’, contained in my repertoire, exclusively for the jurisdiction of Nigeria and the authority or permission to exploit such work can only be obtained from me…However, the Defendants being an organizer of a television reality show tagged, ‘Nigerian Idol’ caused the use, adaptation and deployment of my said work titled, ‘Mosorire’ on the said show without my consent, and which was broadcast to several millions of television viewers throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the rest of Africa for 2012 and 2013 editions.”
The Plaintiff further averred the Defendants particularly infringed on his copyright when they allowed a contestant on the show to reproduce and perform his song on television, stating that as a singer and composer, he was entitled to an annual fee of N100m on the said track, commensurate with his effort in putting the work together. The Plaintiff further averred that having made use of his work without obtaining permission from him, the defendants had caused him loss of income while “they have made gains and improved on their own brand image.”
The Plaintiff is therefore seeking a declaration:
“that the act of adaptation, deployment, public performance and exploitation of his musical work titled ‘Mosorire’ by the Defendants without the Plaintiff’s prior consent, authorization or permission constitutes an infringement of the Plaintiff’s copyright, as guaranteed by the Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004 and sections 6 (6) (b) and 44 of the 1999 Constitution.”
At the time of this article, neither Etisalat nor Optima Media Group have responded to the allegation.
This article is intended to provide general information about the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about specific circumstances