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NCC Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against MTN Over Maleke’s Music

NCC Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against MTN Over Maleke's Music

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has taken legal action against MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. and four others for allegedly infringing on the copyright of artist Maleke.

The criminal charges, filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division under case number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024, were disclosed by the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.

The defendants named in the case include Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria, Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Ltd., and Yahaya Maibe.

The NCC has accused the defendants of infringing on Maleke Idowu Moye’s musical works between 2010 and 2017 by offering for sale, selling, and trading them for business purposes without his consent or authorization.

The Commission alleged that the defendants used musical works and sound recordings of Maleke with subsisting copyright, as Caller Ring Back Tunes, without the authorisation of the artiste.

The musical works and sound recordings of the musician allegedly infringed upon included; 911, Minimini-wanawana, Stop racism, Ewole, 911 instrumental, Radio, Low waist, and No bother.

The defendants were also alleged to have distributed the musical works to their subscribers, without authorisation, thereby, infringing on the rights of the artiste.

In the third count, the defendant were alleged to have in their possession, other than for their private or domestic use, the musical works and sound recordings of the artiste.

According to NCC, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under section 20 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the Copyright Act, Cap. C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The case is yet to be assigned to any judge and no date has been fixed for mention.

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