In a bid to redress an alleged copyright infringement, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Limited has slammed N105,848,000 suit on Young Shall Grow Motors Limited.
COSON is suing the motor company for alleged unauthorized copying, communicating to the public, permission to perform in public and infringement of the copyright of the musical works and sound recordings belonging to the members affiliates and assignors of Copyright Society of Nigeria.
In an amended statement of claim filed before a Federal high court in Lagos, south west Nigeria by two Lagos lawyers, Justin Ige and Seun Omotoba, it was alleged that Copyright Society of Nigeria Limited, a company guaranteed under the Company and allied Matters and approved by the Nigeria Copyright commission as a collective management organization has entered into various reciprocal representation agreements giving it the mandate to license the public performance of a worldwide music repertoire, major Nigerian artists and other world notable artists.
The plaintiff averred further that it has entered into copyright licensing agreements for the communication to the public of musical works and sound recordings with various transport services in Nigeria and that among the transport services in Nigeria who have obtained the license of the copyright and are paying royalties for the copying, public performance and communication to the public of musical works and sound recordings in their facilities.
The plaintiff stated that Young Shall Grow Motors whose address is 1 Old Ojo Road, Maza -Maza, apart from its over 500 serviceable vehicles, the transport company has several facilities including but not limited to car terminals and restaurants, within which facilities, unlicensed public performance of musical works and unlicensed communication to the public of sound recordings belonging to members, assignors and affiliates of the plaintiff take place round the clock, every day.
According to COSON, it has repeatedly, through several letters and demand notices requested Young Shall Grow Motors Limited to obtain appropriate licenses and pay the requisite royalties for the musical works and sound recording used, reproduced, publicly performed and communicated to the public twenty four hours every day in its vehicles and restaurants at its various terminals in Lagos and nationwide but refused to do so.
”As a result of the refusal of the defendant to pay royalties for the musical works and sound recordings in its operations, the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria has been denied and has lost several millions of Naira being value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxable income accruable to the Government from the royalties.
COSON is therefore claiming the sum of N85,848,000, being the amount due to the plaintiff from the defendant as royalties for the period 2014 to 2017 as computed and detailed in the particulars of royalties by the defendant.
It is also claiming interest on the said sum at the rate of 21 percent per annum from the commencement of this action until judgement and 12% thereafter until final liquidation.
General and exemplary damages in the sum of N20 million.
COSON is also seeking an order restraining the defendant and its agents from the unauthorized performance and infringement of the copyright of the musical works or sound recordings belonging to the plaintiff, its members, affiliates and assignors.