A prominent Catholic music composer, Sir Jude Nnam, has dragged Emeka Okonkwo (E-Money) to court for alleged Copyright infringement. Five Star Music and Kingsley Chinweike Okonkwo (KCEE) are also Defendants in the suit.
He is seeking “A DECLARATION that the copyright, as well as the ownership rights to the song titled ‘SOM TOO CHUKWU’ which was surreptitiously included in the music album titled “CULTURAL PRAISE VOL.1 by the 3rd Defendant without the Plaintiff’s consent or authorization, is vested in the Plaintiff by Virtue of his composing the said song in the year 2001.
“A DECLARATION that the Defendants jointly and severally infringed on the copyright of the Plaintiff by adapting, producing, distributing, marketing, advertising and performing to the general public the song titled “SOM TOO CHUKWU ” without his consent or authorization (either written or oral).
Mr. Jude also wants the court to compel the Defendants to jointly and severally render an account of the profits, income, and benefits generated from the adaptation, production, distribution, sale, advertisement, marketing, and performance of the titled “SOM TOO CHUKWU” from December 2020 till judgment and the sum of N150,000,000 as general damages
In the Statement of Claim with Suit No: FHC/L/CS/304/202 made available to TheNigeriaLawyer, Jude accused the defendants of reproducing, marketing and distributing his work without his permission as the original owner of the work.
He explained that the music was first produced in 2001 with the title “SOM TO CHUKWU”, to celebrate his daughter’s first birth, but he was surprised to discover that his original work has be reproduced, duplicated, sold, marketed, advertised, distributed to the general public and retitled as “CULTURAL PRAISE VOL.1” by the Defendants.
He said he composed the musical work for private worship of God and for liturgical purposes in the church, especially during offerings, tithe and donations in the church adding that apart from composing the musical work in sofa and staff notation, he went to fix the musical work in audio form with the help of a choral group and he relied on Keyboard, African drum, wooden gongs and guitar as musical instruments
Mr. Nnam who is a Music Director, Yamaha Ambassador, choral conductor, keyboardist, worship songwriter, accused the 3rd Defendant Kingsley (Kcee) of performing the musical work in 2020 at a wedding reception in Nigeria and has continued till January 2021. He also said other artists and copies of the said music have been distributed digitally on various social media platforms without his consent or authorization.
He also avers that in adapting, producing, distributing, marketing the musical work for sale, the Defendants failed to recognize and/or acknowledges his copyright as well as ownership rights to the musical work and that copyright protection under the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is automatic upon his creation and composition of the work in the year 2001.
THENIGERIALAWYER (TNL), further gathered that the plaintiff through his lawyer Micheal Amakeze, had on 28th January 2021 written to the Defendants, on the copyright infringement of his client’s work, Jude Nnam and since then the Defendants have failed, refused and/or neglected to take required actions to mitigate or curb the infringement of his copyright.