My Attention has been drawn to the scuffle trending on social media’s about the Nigerian music industry.which is the issue of Stealing Songs (Tones and lyrics).
We had Davido and password on “Gobe” Wizkid and Dammy Krane, Wizkid and Blackface on “Ojuwelegba” also Blackface calling out 2face for stealing “let somebody love you”.and many more.I am not concerned about who is wrong or right,am here to talk on the concept of PLAGIARISM and it’s sister concept COPYRIGHT.
Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” ,stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.(wikipedia.org) Plagiarism is considered immoral and Unethical amongst various professional bodies and unions with suspension, penalties and on extreme cases expulsion as punitive measures. Plagiarism in the industry or in the academia is a serious ethical offence and not a crime per se.plagiarism is coined from the Latin word Plagiarius which literary means “KIDNAPPER ” this concept is considered as theft or stealing but not in a legal sense because it’s not mentioned in our Laws.
Copyright on the other hand is the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
cases of plagiarism can constitute copyright infringement. Thus, plagiarism and copyright infringement might overlap somewhat, but they are not equivalent concepts, and many types of plagiarism do not fall under the category of copyright infringement. Copyright infringement is defined by copyright law and may be adjudicated by courts. Plagiarism is not defined by law, but rather by institutions (including professional associations, educational institutions, and commercial entities, such as publishing companies) and punishment for plagiarism is not set forth by the legal system.
While both terms may apply to a particular act, they are different concepts, and false claims of authorship may constitute plagiarism regardless of whether the material is protected by copyright.plagiarism is an offence against the author, while copyright violation is an offence against the copyright holder. In traditional academic publishing, they are usually not the same person, due to the ubiquity of copyright transfer agreements (CTAs).
Having explained this concepts and outlined their similarities and differences, it is pertinent to say that the law was made to make RIGHT were there is WRONG (Ubi jus ibi remedium) that’s why the copyright Act (cap 28 LFN 2004) was promulgated and the Nigerian Copyright Commission was created to over see its affairs.
The NCC was created to register, guard,secure and preserve your copyright as your intellectual property.so when you don’t regiunless ster your copyright if infringed upon you can not take action against the infringer . The reason why everyone must register his/her copyright is simple: In general, you cannot sue for copyright infringement you have a registered copyright.
So if blackface, Wizkid, Davido, password et al are alleging that their songs have been stolen “the big question is “Do they have a Registered Copyright of the alleged stolen song,material or content? You must come to equity with Clean hands. Illegality cannot begot legality,its only when you are registered you can seek for injunction and aggravated damages . Your intellectual property is priceless so guard it with all it takes.in the words of a famous brand analyst and writer Catherine Kaputa in her Book UR A BRAND said
“Branding is about soft power.for companies today it’s not d hard things -tangibles like bricks and mortar,equipment and inventories that contribute the most to a company’s value. It’s soft things -the brands and company reputation, the ideas and intellectual capital, the consumer relationships and business alliances that have the most value”
We all know that ideas rule the world so don’t let yours be kidnapped, many of the big names in the industry at large today whom age,time, and other factors is affecting their mental productivity are like hawks looking for young chicks to devour so be wise and guard your bread,is my advice to all Neophytes and existing brand,music/movie producers and directors, songwriters and singers, performing artist, script writers, instrumentalist, Record label management, promoters and distributors,Artist (artistic drawings) et al.
Get a lawyer that is well schooled on intellectual Property to help,advice and guide you in the right step to take in other to protect your contents from being stolen.Rather than physically combat each other over allegations,why not allow us #GuardyourBread and protect your Contents from sparrowing Kidnapper.
OGUCHE S.DiGBOLO (esq)
The celebrity Lawyer
Twenty8 Degreez Solutions
Wikipedia, Oxford dictionary, copyright Act,Catherine kaputa(ur A brand)