Written by Nathaniel Adebayo and Ufuoma Akpotaire
Nigerian artist Blackface has filed a suit against two popular artists Wizkid and Banky W alleging the duo infringed on his copyright.
Blackface is no stranger to discussions on copyright infringement. He previously alleged that his former band mate, from the trio rio Plantashun Boiz, 2face had taken credit for his song “African Queen’.
This lawsuit comes after the management of 2face sued Blackface for 50M naira for defamation of character, Blackface has taken the bull by the horns to also sue Banky W and his then artiste Wizkid under EME which we believe is no longer operational.
According to 2face and his manager, Efe Omorogbe they paid blackface for his contribution to the album adding that 2Baba and Blackface were members of the trio Plantashun Boiz before its members went solo.
The song now under contention is ‘Slow Whine’, a non-single track from Wizkid’s debut album Superstar. At the time of the album’s release, the pop act was under Banky W’s EME record label. The album launched Wizkid into prominence and featured such acts as Wande Coal and Banky W. Wizkid is now under his own record label Starboy, as well as Sony Music.
The Plaintiff claim against the defendants:I. A declaration that the song “Slow Whine”, recorded by the 3rd and 4th Defendants and published as track 5 in the 3rd Defendant’s “SUPERSTAR” album, released on the 12th of June 2011, is a reproduction of the song “LIKE THE WAY” which was published by the Plaintiffs in April 2010.ii. A declaration that the vocal rhythm, melodic progression and lyrical content of principal parts of the song ” Slow Whine” as recorded by the 3rd and 4th Defendants and published in the 3rd Defendant’s “SUPERSTAR” album released on the 12th of June 2011 constitute an indirect reproduction and publication in a form recognizably derived from the song “LIKE THE WAY” which was published by the Plaintiffs in April 2010.iii. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION, restraining the Defendants, their agents, privies, assigns, or otherwise howsoever, whether acting alone or in concert with any other person whatsoever from:
Blackface has doubled down on his stand as the owner of these songs even after several derision.
I have remained quiet while my name has been dragged in the mud the past few years. Some of Nigeria’s biggest artists have infringed on my copyrights but I always restricted myself to speaking out against this in the media. Maybe because I always felt that music is an art and not really a business where you bring in lawyers and all that.That’s why I couldn’t believe when I was sued for N50m by the same people who stole my intellectual property. I have nothing personal against Wizkid & Banky, in fact I can say I groove to both their music, but the fact is that they stole my song in 2011 and there’s clear evidence to prove it. We’ll allow the Court to decide.
The case is currently pending:
Ahmedu Augustine (AKA Blackfacenaija) & anor v. Empire Mates Entertainment Limited & ors.
|Court:||Federal High Court|
|Nature of Suit||Copyrights|
|Case Filed:||August 14, 2018|