• Entertainment - Featured
  • Updated: February 13, 2024

Funke Akindele sued for copyright infringement by popular song writer

Funke Akindele sued for copyright infringement by popular so

Nollywood star, Funke Akindele. Apple Inc., and Bello Abdulrasheed, best known as JJC, have been allegedly sued in court by Nigerian songwriter, Ewaoluwa Olatunji Nicole over alleged copyright infringement on two songs, 'Bhad Gyal' and 'Opoor' which were featured in the series, She Must be Obeyed.

The songwriter had filed the suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos State. Also joined in the suit as defendants are Amazon Web Inc., and Transnet Music Nigeria Ltd, among others.

Nicole, who goes by the stage name Ewa Cole aka “Queen of Afro-Solk”, is a Guinness World record holder for the longest marathon singing Christmas songs.

In the suit, Nicole claimed to be the owner, author and creator of the songs 'Bhad Gyal' and 'Opoor' which were reproduced by Akindele in her musical drama She Must be Obeyed.

She told the court, "Sometime in June 2021, our client was contacted by one Mr Fony a.k.a Tony Age to produce soundtracks for the movie She Must Be Obeyed series being produced by Scene One production, Funke Akindele and her crew at that material time. The movie starred several celebrities like Veeiye (as Tito); Waje (as X-cite); and Shaffy Belfo as Iya Siyanbola, amongst others.

"Our brief revealed that after writing and recording the two songs, 'Bhad Gyal' and 'Opoor' in a music studio with the aid of Mr. Tony a.k.a Tony Age (who was working with the “She Muse Be Obeyed" crew at that time), she handed over the tracks to him with the understanding that Funke Akindele and her crew would reach out to her for payments and recognition.

"After weeks of waiting, our client received the sad news that her songs had been rejected and would no longer be deployed in the production of the series only for our client to shockingly discover thereafter that she had been lied to and scammed, and that her songs were in fact reproduced by Waje and Veeiye and deployed for the production of the said movie without our client's permission or approval or any credit to her.

"As a matter of fact, the 'Bhad Gyal’ song was mimed by Waje while on stage in the movie, whilst the 'Opoor' song ran through the background of the entirety of the series.

"The 'She Must be Obeyed' series released in September 2023 and premiered by Amazon Prime Video is now being watched around the globe and generating several revenues for Amazon, Apple Music, BoomPlay, Funke Akindele and her crew without even the least recognition of Our Client as the author of those songs.”

Nicole seeks among other reliefs a payment of N300 million in compensation for the infringement of her copyright.

She also asked that the court grant a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further copyrighting, performing or reproducing her musical works.

The Claimant also sought an order of court directing the defendants to share 45 per cent of the profits made in the use, performance, reproduction and distribution of 'Bald Gyal' and 'Opoor'.

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