Copyright violation: NCC drags MTN, 4 others to court

Karl Toriola of MTN Nigeria

Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria CEO

By Rotimi Ijikanmi

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has filed criminal charges against telecommunications company MTN Nigeria and four others over alleged illegal dealing with the works of musician, Maleke Idowu Moye.

The four defendants in the case with charge with Number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division Karl Toriola, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Ltd., and Yahaya Maibe.

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

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 artiste.

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The musical works and sound recordings of the musician 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 artiste.

In the third count, the defendant were alleged to have in their possession, other than for their private or domestic use, the musical works and sound recordings of the artiste.

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.

NAN reports that the case is yet to be assigned to any judge and no date has been fixed for mention. (NAN) (

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