Legendary Nigerian musician, Onyeka Onwenu, has dragged IROKING, a music, and movie distributor to court over violation of her copyright.
According to reports, the N205 million suit was heard at the Lagos High Court on Monday. On Sunday, Onyeka Onwenu announced her legal move over an alleged copyright infringement, which she described as “massive violation of my musical copyright dues and the illegal exploitation of my intellectual property.”
She 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, artists whose works and labor have made them successful.
“We are therefore suing to make a point. Artistes have a right to profit from their intellectual property and labor. Nigeria has copyright laws, which ought to be respected. The music industry has been built up and sustained by artists and entrepreneurs like me. I demand to be protected by the laws of my country. Iroking must pay for this violation.”
The Legendary songstress urged other artists to be vigilant, and wake up to their rights, especially in the Internet era.
“It is also my hope that other artists will wake up and demand what is due them. Many do not know that their music is being exploited on YouTube and other carriers.
”Some Record Companies are selling our music on the internet and claiming ownership of the Copyright. If only we would pay attention, artists would discover that while they had been doing all the creative work, investing in their careers and in the industry at large, someone else is collecting all the profit. Enough is Enough!”