Copyright Commission Sues MTN Nigeria for Alleged Copyright Infringement

Copyright Commission sues MTN Nigeria for alleged copyright infringement. The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has filed charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, along with its CEO Karl Toriola, Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Ltd, and Yahya Maibe. The charges relate to alleged copyright infringement.

Copyright Commission Sues MTN Nigeria

Copyright Commission Sues MTN Nigeria

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has accused MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, its CEO Karl Toriola, Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Ltd, and Yahya Maibe of selling and using musical works without permission. Maleke Idowu Moye, a Nigerian artist and comedian, owns the copyrighted music.

The commission filed three charges against the defendants in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. They’re accused of selling Maleke’s music without his approval, using it as Caller Ring Back Tunes, and distributing it to subscribers without permission. The charged musical works include songs like 911, Miniminiwanawana, and Stop Racism.

The defendants are also accused of possessing the artist’s music for purposes other than personal use. Which as you should know, violates copyright laws in Nigeria. Despite the charges, the case hasn’t been assigned to a judge yet, and no court date has been set.

The Copyright Bill 2022

Former President Muhammad Buhari in March 2023, signed the Copyright Bill 2022 into law to improve copyright protection in the digital world.

The bill aims to “protect the rights of authors and ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts, provide appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works, facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties and conventions, as well as enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement”.

The law also clarifies copyright rules for various types of creative works like books, music, art, movies, recordings, and broadcasts. It strengthens the rights of creators, imposes stricter penalties for copyright violations, and deals with challenges posed by digital and online use of copyrighted materials.

What the Bill Clarifies

Additionally, it specifically safeguards audiovisual works in digital form. This means that creators’ permission must be obtained before using online content such as photos, videos, recordings, and other productions.



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