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NCC files charges against MTN, others

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has reportedly filed criminal charges against service provider, MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. and four others for alleged copyright violation of Nigerian musician, Maleke Idowu Moye’s musical works.

The commission in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and obtained by journalists on Monday listed other defendants in the case to include; the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola; Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Ltd.; and Yahaya Maibe.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCC in the three-count charge alleged that the defendants, between 2010 and 2017, “offered for sale, sold and traded for business’’, infringed the musical works of an artiste, Maleke Idowu Moye, without his consent and authorisation.

The copyright commission alleged that the defendants used Moye’s musical works and sound recordings with subsisting copyright as caller ringback tones without the authorisation of the artist.

The commission said that the musician’s works and sound recordings infringed upon included; 911, Minimini-wanawana, Stop Racism, Ewole, 911 instrumental, Radio, Low Waist, and No Bother.

The commission also alleged that the defendants distributed the musical works to their subscribers without authorisation, thereby infringing on the rights of the artist.

In the third count, the NCC alleged that the defendants had in their possession, other than for their private or domestic use, the artist’s musical works and sound recordings.

The NCC said that 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.

However, the case has not been assigned to any judge nor has any date been fixed for the mention.

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