Musician Alleges Unauthorized Use of Songs, Seeks Compensation and Injunction
Singer Ewa Cole has taken legal action against music executive JJC Skillz and director Funke Akindele, alleging copyright infringement of her songs in the movie “She Must Be Obeyed,” produced by SceneOne Entertainment.
In a case filed at the Federal High Court of Lagos, Ewa Cole, represented by her attorney Adewale Williams, asserted ownership of the rights to her songs “Opoor” and “Bhad Garl,” which she claims were sampled without permission in the movie. The defendants named in the lawsuit include Tony Ugiagbe (Topage), Waje, Veeiye, Amazon Web Services Nigeria Ltd. (BoomPlay), Amazon Web Services Inc., and Apple Inc.
According to the petition submitted to the court, Ewa Cole collaborated with Tony Ugiagbe, also known as Tony Age, to produce soundtracks for the “She Must Be Obeyed” series. However, after being informed that her songs were rejected for the production, Ewa Cole alleges that Waje and Veeiye copied and reproduced her songs without authorization or credit.
The lawsuit claims that Ewa Cole’s songs were used in the series without her knowledge, leading to financial gain for various parties involved, including Amazon, Apple Music, and Funke Akindele’s production crew. The petition further alleges that the unauthorized use of her musical compositions has resulted in labor infringement and demands N300 million in damages.
Ewa Cole seeks a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants from further reproducing, performing, or distributing her songs without authorization. Additionally, she requests a 45 percent share of all earnings generated from the use, performance, duplication, and sale of the two songs.
The lawsuit underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry and highlights the legal ramifications of unauthorized use of creative works. As the case unfolds, it will shed light on the complexities of copyright law and the responsibilities of filmmakers and musicians in respecting the rights of content creators.
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