Entertainment & SocietyNCC Files Criminal Charges Against MTN, Four Others Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

NCC Files Criminal Charges Against MTN, Four Others Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

March 26, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has filed criminal charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. and four others over alleged copyright infringement.

The charge with number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 filed at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court was obtained by journalists on Monday.

The four other defendants in the case include the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola; Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Ltd., and Yahaya Maibe.

In the three-count charge, NCC alleged that the defendants, between 2010 and 2017, “offered for sale, sold and traded for business”, infringed musical works of an artiste, Maleke Idowu Moye, without his consent and authorisation.

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 artist.

The musician’s musical works and sound recordings 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 artist.

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

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 has yet to be assigned to any judge, and no date has been fixed for mention.

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