A High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria to pay an Abuja-based musician, Liberty Williams twenty million naira over copyright violation.
Justice Mary Ojukwu while delivery the judgement on Thursday, June 30, 2022 asked MTN to also render an account of profit for the illegal use of the song for three years.
It was reported that, Williams with the stage name, “Pupayannis” had in 2017, through his lawyers from Remedium Law Partners (formerly Felix Igelige and Associate Law Partners) asked the court to award N200 million as general damages and N100 million as aggravated and punitive damages in his favour.
The plaintiff had accused MTN of selling a song he composed in July 2013 as a ring tone.
He had asked the court to declare that MTN’s sale of the song without his consent constituted an infringement on his copyright.
The plaintiff had alleged that MTN, in collaboration with No Where to Run Entertainment Company, offered his song “Love is everything” to its millions of subscribers as a ring tone and caller tune without his consent.
In a statement of claim, the plaintiff said he wrote, composed and financed the production of the song in July 2013, three months before he entered into an agreement with No Where to Run Entertainment Ltd.
He contended that he did not, at any time, surrender the master tape and the right of the song to the entertainment company and its chief executive.
The plaintiff prayed the court to award N200 million as general damages and N100 million as aggravated and punitive damages in his favour.