Copyright Infringement: Sunny Ade Secures N500m Judgment Against Recording Companies
Juju music maestro, Sunday Adeniyi popularly known by the stage name of King Sunny Ade, on Thursday secured a court judgment ordering two recording companies to pay him N500 million as damages for infringing on his music.
Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos, delivered judgment in the matter, also ordered the payment of N3m costs for prosecuting the suit.
King Sunny Ade had in a 41 paragraph statement, claimed to have signed a five-year deal with the first defendant in 1970 to reproduce the said works and sell under its record label.
The defendants in the suit are African songs Limited; Take Your Choice Records Store Limited, Lati Alagbada Nigeria and Records Manufacturers of Nigeria Limited among others.
However, upon the expiration of the aforementioned deal in 1975, KSA, as he is fondly called by admirers, said the defendant refused to return to him the master tapes of the songs despite repeated demands from its then CEO, Chief Bolarinwa Abioro, who is deceased.
In the statement of claim, a judgment was given in favour of Sunny Ade in 1975 but the master tape was still not returned until the owners of the two recording companies passed away.
Sunny Ade in a suit filed at the Federal High Court in 1997 for alleged copyright infringement on 43 works categorized as singles, extended, series and others, sought damages in the sum of N3billion from the defendants.