Copyright infringement is a crime that is frowned at all over the world. Albeit, it is taken more seriously in some countries than others. In Nigeria it is hardly a crime to scrounge on another’s intellectual property, little wonder it is practiced with some measure of gusto. In this illuminating piece, we take a look at some of the culprits of this particular crime.
P-Square Peter and Paul Okoye of P-Square are one of the biggest artistes out of Africa. They’re also one of the guiltiest when it comes to copyright issue. The duo brazenly lifts lyrics and rhythms from other songs; especially international ones. They are known to have sampled existing music for their songs like ‘Danger,’ ‘Get Squared,’ ‘Last Nite,’ ‘Roll It,’ ‘Onyinye,’ ‘Game Over’ among others. It should be recalled that an actress, Steph Nora-Okereke, once accused the twin brothers of stealing her song, ‘Jeje’ which she had earlier sent to their brother, Jude, to get his opinion. P-Square Brothers
Ketchup’s career is just warming up, but he needs to be really careful if he wants to have a long stay in the music industry. In one of his latest songs, ‘Pam Pam,’ Ketchup wantonly lifted the lyrics from Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ and Chaka Demus & Pliers’ ‘Bam Bam.’ The copyright infringement is so blatant as Ketchup sang, ‘Shoddy came in and she caught me red-handed sleeping with the girl next door…’ which is the exact lyrics used by Shaggy in the original song. It would be interesting to see what will happen if Ketchup travels out of the country to perform ‘Pam Pam,’ and Shaggy, Chaka Demus & Pliers, or their representatives, get a wind of it. Well; your guess is as good as mine!
Half-Sierra-Leonan, half-Nigerian Mavin singer, Dija, is also culpable when it comes to copyright infringement. In her latest song, ‘Take Kiss,’ she sampled another Nigerian singer, Jodie’s ‘Kuchi Kuchi’ melody. She also borrowed a leaf from Ketchup as she ‘stole’ from Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ for one of the verses of her song as well.
This dude from Bariga, Lagos, is distinctly talented and creative; everybody knows that. But he is also in this copyright bus. He used the name of a popular old movie, ‘Yemi My Lover’ as the title of his 2013 hit-song; and of course, that made the record more successful as it invoked nostalgic feelings in people who are familiar with the movie. In an earlier chat, Yemi Ayebo, who is the producer of the movie, stated that Olamide did not seek his permission in any way before using the film-title. However, Yemi stated that he likes Olamide’s music; hence, he wouldn’t be dragging the ‘Durosoke’ rapper to the court. It should be recalled that D’banj’s producer, Deevee, recently called out the rapper for stealing D’banj’s song to make his own ‘Don’t Stop’ which is contained in his ‘Eyan Mayweather’ album.
Clarence Peters, Nigerian music video directors have been given kudos for the good quality of music videos they have managed to churn out over the years. But many of them are also borrowing other people’s goods without acknowledgment. Clarence Peters is alleged to have stolen concepts from many foreign songs for the videos he directs. He reportedly copied the idea of South African rapper, Tumi Molekane’s ‘Asinamali’ for Tiwa Savage’s ‘Eminado.’ Clarence was also accused of yanking the concept of US rap group, Slaughterhouse’s ‘My Life’ video for Ice Prince’s ‘VIP.’ The above examples are just some of the many allegations against Peters, though he has never addressed the issue.
Mr. Moe Musa, a London-based video director is another person walking the thin line of copyright infringement. He is alleged to have stolen the concept for Davido’s ‘Skelewu’ music video from LMFAO’s ‘Party Anthem’ as both music videos have similar scenes and sequence.
Former Plantashun Boiz group members, 2face and Blackface have been at loggerheads for a while due to issues of copyright. Blackface is alleged to have written the widely-successful ‘African Queen’ which 2face got acclaim for. However, 2face later paid Blackface royalties from the song. More recently, Blackface accused 2face of also denying him credit in the song ‘Let Somebody Love You’ which they both wrote together in their days as Plantashun Boiz. 2face later featured American singer, Bridget Kelly in the song, and included it in his The Ascension album.
Blackface also recently accused Wizkid of stealing the lyrics for his global hit, ‘Ojuelegba’ from him.
Omo Baba Olowo singer, Davido had his share of copyright infringement controversy when an upcoming act, Password accused him of stealing the concept and lyrics of the song, ‘Gobe.’
Former EME signees, Wizkid and Skales went for each other’s jugular over the widely popular song, ‘Azonto’. Skales claimed that Wizkid stole the song from him.
Written by Tofarati Ige and Edited by Emeka E. Okeke