NCC files criminal charges against MTN, others

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission 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 in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division was obtained by newsmen on Monday.

The four other defendants in the case are; Karl Toriola, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, 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 artist, 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 artiste.

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.

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