In what is regarded as the biggest lawsuit to come out of Africa, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has slammed telecoms giant, MTN with a N16 billion lawsuit for copyright infringement.
The lawsuit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos by Lagos Intellectual property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige, with suit No. FHC/L/CS/619/2016, sees COSON asking the court for six different declarations of copyright infringement perpetrated by MTN in the MTN Friendship’, ‘Connect’ or ‘Walk In’ Centres across Nigeria; the MTN ‘Road Shows’ in Nigeria; the various MTN Music Concerts, Festivals, Award Shows, Product Activations and Corporate events; the MTN Callertunez platform; the MTN Music Plus Platform and the MTN Mobile Radio.
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Chairman of COSON and former President of PMAN, Chief Tony Okoroji, in a statement issued a few days before the filing of the suit, said, “Anyone familiar with COSON knows that if we say that we are going to do something, we are going to do it. At COSON, we are resolute that the labour of Nigerian musicians and investors in the music industry who toil every day to make people happy will no longer be in vain. They cannot make people happy and be sad themselves. Anyone intending to exploit their sweat to serve his own purpose has COSON to deal with.
“The recent crash in the price of crude oil should be a lesson that Nigeria can no longer afford to waste her tremendous intellectual property assets. Our music and our movies in great demand everywhere in the world must count for something. They should contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP and provide jobs for hundreds of thousands of our citizens. The era of monkey dey work, baboon dey chop is over. We have asked our lawyers to go on ‘rampage’. Our brief to them is clear: there will be no untouchables and no sacred cows; no retreat, no surrender”.
By Ahmed Boulor…
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