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The Nigerian Copyright Commission Files Charges Against MTN Nigeria and 4 others for Alleged Copyright infringement

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The NCC, Nigerian Copyright Commission, has charged MTN and four others in federal high court, Abuja. The four other defendants in the case are Karl Toriola, chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria; Nkeakam Abhulimen; Fun Mobile Ltd, a telecommunications service provider; and Yahaya Maibe, its CEO.

MTN Nigeria

According to NCC, the defendants offered, sold and traded for business, the musical works of Maleke Moye. Monye, who is an artist, must consent to the defendants’ use of his music to avoid copyright infringement.

Furthermore, the commission claimed that Monye’s works were distributed to subscribers without permission. The infringed works include 911, Miniminiwanawana, Stop Racism, Ewole, 911 instrumental, Radio, Low Waist, and No Bother. 

Additionally, the NCC pointed out the three-count charge, numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024, filed against MTN Nigeria and 4 others in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. It was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). It stated the defendants used the musical works and sound recordings of Maleke, subsisting copyright as Caller Ring Back Tunes, without the authorization of the artist.

In March 2023, former President Muhammad Buhari signed the Copyright Bill 2022 into law. The bill ensures efficient administration, regulation, enforcement, and copyright protection in the digital space.

Additionally, it aims to protect the rights of authors, and ensure just rewards while recognizing their intellectual efforts.

Also, it provides appropriate restrictions and exceptions to guarantee protected access to creative works. Furthermore, it facilitates Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties and conventions. This enhances the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement”.

The Copyright bill also explains copyright policies. The policy covers literary, musical, artistic, audiovisual, sound recordings, and broadcast works. It explains authors’ rights, increases criminal penalties for infringements, and solves the issues raised by digital and online use of copyrighted materials. This is why NCC is suing MTN Nigeria and others. 

The bill also protects audiovisual works in digital content, which means that online content such as pictures, videos, sound recordings, and other productions cannot be used without the owner’s permission.

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

Articles: 189

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