Copyright infringement: court awards Femi Adebayo N25m against online TV

NOLLYWOOD film producer Femi Adebayo has been granted N25 million in damages in a lawsuit between his company and a YouTube channel, Aforefo TV, owned by Murphy Ben International.

The actor shared his victory via his official X page on Tuesday, May 7, stating that it was not “just his win but for all Nollywood.”

However, he did not provide the court case details to validate his claims.

The ICIR could not immediately see the details in media outfits that published reports on the claims.


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The ICIR, therefore, contacted the law firm that handled the case and obtained the case details.

The litigation was between Lateef Olufemi Adebayo and Murphy Ben International Ltd (Aforefo TV), with case number FHC/IB/CS/17/2020, at the Federal High Court, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Some media platforms wrongly reported it was a Lagos High Court.

“Judgement was in our favour. Damages of 20 million naira was awarded for us and N5 million as the cost of litigation, making a total of N25 million. The judgement date was 23rd April 2024,” a lawyer at the law firm, who declined to give his name, said.

Adebayo stated that due to the success of his 2019 theatrical release of “Survival of Jelili”, the YouTube channel layered the trailers to trick viewers into thinking they were watching the actual movie, increasing the channel’s views and generating unaccounted income streams over time.




     

     

    “During the cinema run of “Survival of Jelili” in 2019, my movie was gathering good numbers at that time. They decided to use my movie poster and title to promote a movie on their platform, thereby deceiving fans and diverting revenue accrued to me,” he said.

    He added that it took him three years to obtain justice, with the professionalism and assistance of his legal team, for which he was also granted a N25 million compensation.

    “They presented undeniable evidence, put up a strong argument, and took the case to trial. Their promptness, efficiency, and attention to detail played a huge part in the direction of the case. We won and were awarded a total of twenty-five million naira, he stated.

    Adebayo emphasised the recent expansion of the Nigerian film industry and the difficulties faced by actors and producers in achieving the full financial benefits of their work due to malicious pirates who reap benefits they did not sow, noting that these pirates could be stopped gradually by perseverance and the application of intellectual property laws.

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