MTN to settle `Baba 2010’ N500m copyright suit out of court

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Multi-national Communication giant, MTN has commenced `out of court settlement’ process in a N500 million copyright suit filed against it by Mr Omenuwoma Dovie a.k.a Baba 2010, an Abuja based entertainer/ artist.
Counsel to Baba 2010, Mr Rockson Igelige, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“We (Baba 2010 attorneys) met three days ago with MTN and steps are being taken to resolve the case out of court.

“Because we are dealing with figures, we will not want to disclose the details,’’ he said.
NAN recalled that Baba 2010 had demanded N500 million damages from MTN for copyright violation of four of his original musical compositions and recordings.
According to his statement of claim dated Nov. 4 2015, MTN reproduced and stored the musician’s songs electronically.
The telecom’s provider was also accused of selling the musician songs on the internet via its website (www.mtnonline.com) to existing and potential customers as ring-back tones or caller tunes.

The original compositions of Baba 2010 songs contained in his Compact Disc album Twisted, released in 2005, were sold to subscribers in the form of caller tunes or ringtones.
The songs, coded 001087 (“Gentleman”), 001088 (“Omotena”), 001089 (“Twisted”) and 001090 (“Unity Song”) were stored electronically, reproduced and offered to MTN’s subscribers on payment of N50 each for one month subject to N50 monthly renewal charge.

The musical works could also be downloaded on specified terms onto a subscriber’s mobile phone by sending the relevant code to the number 4100 designated for the purpose by MTN.
The plaintiff Baba 2010 was never contacted by MTN and had not given permission for his songs to be reproduced or sold by the defendant or anybody.

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