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Regulator files charges against MTN, 4 others over copyright infractions

Photo Collage: People's Gazette

*The Nigerian Copyright Commission alleges MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and four other defendants, between 2010 and 2017, offered for sale, sold, and traded for business infringed musical works of Maleke Idowu Moye without his consent and authorisation

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For alleged copyright infringement, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has filed criminal charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and four other establishments.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria; Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Limited, and Yahaya Maibe were also listed in the charge with Number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja, FCT, according to the court document released to reporters Monday, March 25, 2024.

The court document indicated the five respondents would be docked on a three-count charge of copyright infringement.

The NCC has alleged that the defendants, between 2010 and 2017, had offered for sale, sold, and traded for business infringed musical works of Maleke Idowu Moye, an artiste, without his consent and authorisation.

The copyright industry regulatory Commission noted that the defendants used musical works and sound recordings of Maleke with subsisting copyright as “Caller Ring Back Tunes” without the authorisation of the said artiste.

The regulator also listed the infringed musical works and sound recordings as “911, Minimini-wanawana, Stop Racism, Ewole, 911 instrumental, Radio, Low Waist, and No Bother”.

Besides, the NCC purported the defendants distributed the musical works of the artiste to their subscribers without authorisation.

The NCC declared the offences were 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, however, has not been assigned to any judge nor any date fixed for the hearing.

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