King Sunny Ade wins copyright infringement case
Legendary Nigerian singer King Sunny Ade has been awarded N500 million in damages after suing record manufacturing company African Songs and its subsidiary, Take Your Choice Records.
According to Leadership newspaper, The suit was filed Ade in 1975, and Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered both companies to pay the damages.
A contract dispute had first arose between both parties, and the court had then ordered that the master tapes of the original musical works belonging to King Sunny Ade, produced under the label, be returned to him.
The then CEO of both companies, Chief Bolarinwa Abioro had died before the tapes were returned, and in 1997, KSA dragged both parties again before a federal high court, claiming the unreturned master tapes had been used to reproduce his work and were sold without his permission.
KSA has demanded N1 billion in damages, but both companies filed a counter claim, pointing out that he had already been paid royalties and thus had no claims to the master tape, and also sought damages.
Justice Tsoho had dismissed the counter claim on the basis of lack of merit, and ordered both parties to pay the sum of N500 million to King Sunny Ade and his band, and also return the master tapes.