five copyright infringement duels in the Nigerian creative space
The Nigerian creative space is aflutter with copyright infringement accusations, counter-accusations and in the rare case, court rulings. Comedian and recent AMVCA winner Sabinus has just sued Peak Milk and Gala—the kernel of the legal quarrel being the two mega-companies profiting off his trademarked image and catchphrase (“something hooge”), using it to sell their wares without his permission and without compensation. At least so Sabinus and his lawyer accuse. I know what you’re thinking but no it’s not a skit; it’s real life.
In a recent gag Sabinus, clad in his usual blue, head reclined in thought and eyes glazed with abstraction, does an interior monologue. He schemes to have his village’s chief loan him money to buy the presidential form, pledging to fatten the chief’s purse on becoming president. There’s a twist at the end that comes with that classic Sabinus’s impish grin: He plans to hoof it once he gets the money. “Smart move”, he calls it, now drenched in a shower of self-congratulation. One may likewise imagine Sabinus (the man himself, not his comic act; or are they one and the same?) plotting in a quiet corner of his kitchen, striking his classic southpaw pose, his hands in mid-air caressing an invisible dragon ball as the wheels of his mind grind out a stratagem, and then saying to himself: First I sue Peak Milk and Gala. Tell them to pay me 1 billion naira so if they refuse I get 50 million at least. Use 2 million to shut down Eko Hotel; show them the ‘investor vibes’.
We have profiled Sabinus in the past. Here are five copyright infringement duels we have seen in the Nigerian creative space.