The following are a few specific examples that indicate our work history. Most are already publicly reported.
- We trained members of the staff of Innocent Idibia (2Baba)’s music label, Hyptertek Digital, on how to properly document 2Baba’s and other’s music catalogs. We pitched the catalog to SONY/ATV Music Publishing for global representation and administration. The transaction required due diligence and valuation of the catalogs. We also represented Hypertek/2Baba throughout the entire process; advising and negotiating the terms.
- We represented Green Light Music Publishing in securing and negotiating a global (excluding Nigeria) deal with SONY/ATV Music Publishing for the administration of copyright interests in about a thousand works. Hurdles to these kinds of transactions arising from a cultural disposition towards informal arrangements for contributions to music in Nigeria were crossed on a large scale through the application of specialized due diligence procedures for copyright claims, and relevant statutory provisions.
- We have represented Universal Music in resolving a dispute concerning the unauthorized use of a major work of theirs by a leading Nigerian brand in an advertisement. The brand had received a “license” from someone in Nigeria who did not have the rights. Not only did we help secure a significant amount in settlement in favour of Universal Music, we also facilitated a business relationship in their favour for West Africa Africa as an added value. Universal Music and Sony Music are two of the biggest three music businesses in the world.
- We represented 2Baba in his lawsuit challenging his former band mate, Augustine “Blackface” Ahmedu’s claims that the former stole some of the latter’s songs. The case centered on the actual ownership and control of songs like African Queen. Blackface took back those claims and issued a public apology.
- We represented Muyiwa Danladi (Danny Young) in his copyright lawsuit against Tiwa Savage and Mavin Records. We were able reach a settlement.
- We have for several years been a major counsel for Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd/Gte (COSON), a leading copyright organization in Nigeria, providing a range of legal services for the management of the copyright repertoire of thousands of COSON’s members.
We have represented and advised COSON on the licensing and use of copyright works by the likes of technology giants (Google), telecommunication companies, banks, governments, hotels and clubs, radio and television stations, brands and transportation companies. Many of these transactions required prosecuting cases on behalf of COSON in court.
We filed lawsuits against several broadcasting organizations, leading to the successful negotiation of licensing terms for the broadcast of musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria in 2014. We also represented COSON in the lawsuit against MTN, which established for the first time in Nigeria a regime for the collection of mechanical and public performance royalties in the telecoms sector.
Several of such lawsuits, resulting in the most successful collective management of music rights in the history of the Nigerian music industry have been reported over the years.
- Afrinolly Limited has over the years developed several projects which seek to create a viable ecosystem in the creative sector of the economy using technology. They are technical partners to MTN for the creative sector. We have advised and provided legal support services to Afrinolly Limited for many of their projects (including the recently concluded MTN Yello Star). Some of their projects have also included musical and audiovisual productions, co-productions and financing arrangements.
- We also advised on the entire process of the preproduction, principal photography and post production stages of the movie, “The Power of 1”, including the exploitation and distribution stages. This included legal documentation for financing arrangements; engaging actors, cast and crew; rights clearances and chain-of-title documentation; production and distribution agreements.
- We have also represented Jumia in several lawsuits relating to intellectual property claims. Such include the lawsuit Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) brought against the brand and company for an alleged unlawful exploitation of his photographs, brand name, privacy and publicity rights.
- We participated as panelist in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) webinar on the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. Creative Legal, as represented by the Managing Partner, was particularly tasked with highlighting those future opportunities for the creative sector that the treaty offered.
- We also participated as trainers in the British Council Nigeria and the UK Foreign Office capacity-building programme, Nigeria Creative Enterprise Support Programme (NICE). The programme was designed to empower creatives from the film and fashion industries with skills and knowledge for building and sustaining profitable businesses.
- The Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate also invited our Justin Ige as a Panelist to commemorate World Intellectual Property Day, 2019, and was particularly tasked with discussing Legal Issues Arising from Copyrights Protection. The theme that year was: Go For Gold – A closer look at Intellectual Property Rights in Nigeria.