Music, as an art form, often draws inspiration from the works of other artists, especially classics that encapsulate the essence of different cultures and notable eras.
However, street-pop sensation Shallipopi is currently facing a copyright infringement claim concerning his single ‘Obapluto,’ which samples the record ‘Ovonramwen n’ Ogbaisi’ by veteran singer Pa Monday Edo Igbinidu.
In a formal notice sent to Shallipopi by Pa Monday’s legal representatives, it is alleged that the street-pop artist used the record without obtaining the necessary license, authorization, permission, or any legal excuse to do so.
The third paragraph of the notice reads as follows:
“We have discovered, Sir, that you have recently infringed on our Client’s rights over the said musical work by intentionally utilizing, displaying, recording, broadcasting, copying (pirating), performing, reproducing, appropriating, and creating derivative works from the said musical work for financial, social, and psychological gains, all of which constitute both a civil breach of our Client’s copyright to the said musical work and a criminal violation under the Nigerian Copyright Act.”
The letter further demands a comprehensive account to determine the amount owed to Pa Monday, a share of the song’s future proceeds, damages totaling 200 million naira, and a written apology to be published in at least two reputable newspapers.
The specific demands are as follows:
1. Provide a detailed account, through an auditor specializing in this field, of all proceeds obtained from the commercialization of Pa Monday’s musical work in all media forms and performances conducted by Shallipopi.
2. Share the audited proceeds and any future proceeds from the use of Pa Monday’s musical work on a 70/30 percentage basis (70% for Pa Monday and 30% for Shallipopi).
a. Pay the sum of N200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) as damages for the copyright infringement.
b. Issue a written apology published in at least two prominent and widely-read daily newspapers, as well as on all social media platforms used by Shallipopi to promote the infringement of Pa Monday’s copyright.
The notice concludes by stating that Shallipopi has seven days to comply with Pa Monday’s demands, or else civil litigation may ensue.