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Nigerian Copyright Commission v. Joseph Daomi

Federal High Court

Judgement delivered on Monday, February 27, 2012
Citation: 55 NIPJD (FHC. 2012) MKD/CR/38
Case No.  FHC/MKD/CR/38/2011  Jurisdiction: Nigeria

Judgement delivered by Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo

Copyright Infringement,  Broadcast Piracy – Piracy of Broadcast Rights of HiTV and Multichoice  — The Accused was charged before the Federal High Court for breach of Section 20(2)(a) and (c) of the Nigerian Copyright Act CAP C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria for illegal distribution of broadcast signal.

I. FACTS

The accused was arrested during an anti-piracy raid conducted by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). The accused was charged by the NCC for distributing to the public, copies of broadcast belonging to Multichoice Nigeria Limited and HiTV for commercial purposes in breach of Section 20(2)(a) of the Nigerian Copyright Act, Cap C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.  The accused pleaded guilty to count three of the three-count charge.

Count three of the charge read:  “on or about the 28th day of July 2011 within the Makurdi Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, without the consent of Multichoice Nigeria Limited and Entertainment Highway Limited did distribute to the public, copies of broadcast belonging to Multichoice Nigeria Limited and Entertainment Highway Limited for commercial purposes by way of rental or similar arrangement, in which copyright subsists and thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 20(2) of the Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.” 

II. JUDGEMENT

On February 27, 2012, Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo of the Federal High Court in Makurdi convicted the accused and sentenced him to 14 days imprisonment or an option of N20,000.

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