Conversations with Nigerian creatives of any form will always reveal that one of the biggest problems we face is the theft of art. From using pictures without proper credit to patronising pirates of music and film, we are all in some form complicit in the problem. Someone who isn’t here to take anyone’s nonsense however, is legendary musician Onyeka Onwenu who has chosen to sue music distributor, Iroking for ₦205million for a copyright violation.
She points out that Iroking continued to profit from her after the expiration of a two year contract and went on to be less than forthright with the truth.
In a statement she released, Onwenu said:
“For years, Iroking profited from the sale of my music, even after a two-year contract it signed with me had elapsed. For years, also, they denied that they were doing so, they denied that they had made any profits from their illegal exploits. When they were caught in the lie, they wanted to settle but refused to show up for meetings.
“Iroking as a Company is arrogant and has no regard for the people, Artistes whose works and labour have made them successful. We are therefore suing to make a point. Artistes have a right to profit from their Intellectual Property and labour. Nigeria has Copyright Laws which ought to be respected. The music industry has been built up and sustained by artistes and entrepreneurs like me. I demand to be protected by the Laws of my Country. Iroking must pay for this violation.”
Featured Image: Konbini