Music producer, Tempoe takes Asa, P.Priime, and others to court for copyright issues related to two songs [IGBOHOCONNECT]

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Tempoe, a Nigerian music producer, has won an injunction against legendary vocalist Asa, popular producer P.Priime, Platoon Limited, and RUE 11 Limited, ordering them to stop using and promoting two tracks from the album ‘V.’

PPriime, Tempoe, Asa 
Background: Pulse got a paper on July 22, 2022. It demonstrates that Tempoe, one of Nigeria’s most prominent music producers, won an order of interim injunction against injunction from a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, against singer Asa, music producer P.Priime, music distribution business Platoon, and RUE 11 limited.

Details: The order was instituted over two songs, ‘IDG’ featuring Grammy-winning superstar, Wizkid, and ‘Love Me or Give Me Red Wine.’ Both songs were released as part of Asa’s 12-track fifth studio album, V.

Tempoe is said to have written and produced the two tracks.  When an agreement on rights and financials could not be reached approximately a year ago, Asa apparently sought out another hitmaker, P-Priime, to produce the album’s version of the respective tracks.

Platoon, a distribution firm, is a defendant in the lawsuit since it acts as a label services company and owns the rights to the record ‘V.’
As a result, any actions based on the album influence them and their investment.
According to Pulse, Platoon was told about copyright accusations before the problem became subject to legal resolution, but it nonetheless continued to release ‘V,’ with the two songs on the album.
P-Priime looks to be a party because he was hired to create two songs and completed them. This, however, has an impact on him because he makes money from the two songs.
The following is the order’s content:
The plaintiff (Tempoe) submitted the following pleas in a Motion Exparte filed on July 1, 2022, in the document designated FHC/L/CS/262/2022;
  1. AN ORDER OF INTERIM INJUNCTION prohibiting the Defendants/ Respondents from further distributing, offering for sale, or performing any of the abovementioned musical compositions captioned ‘IDG’ and ‘Love Me or Give Me Red Wine’ in any manner pending the resolution of the Applicant’s Motion on Notice.
  2. AN ORDER granting leave for the Plaintiff/ Applicant to publish a copy of the enrolled order that may be made pursuant to this application in at least one (1) national newspaper circulating in Nigeria.
  3. AND for such further order(s) as this Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
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UPON READING through the said Motion, its supporting Affidavit of four (4) paragraphs deposed to by Gboyega Aina, Adult, Male, Nigerian of Osuntuyi & Tokan Lawal Law, 19A Akinosivemi Street, Ikeja, Lagos as exhibits marked “TI-T7” attached thereto, and Written Address signed by Adefoworola Tokan• Lawal Esq. Counsel to.
What the court held:  After hearing Osuntuyi Esq., Counsel to the Plaintiff/Applicant move in terms of the motion paper. And having carefully considered the application and submission of Learned Counsel, the presiding judge, P. O. LIFU UP found that;
  1. That the Defendants/Respondents are hereby restrained whether by themselves, their assigns, agents, privies and servants or anyone acting on their behalf from further distributing, offering for sale and performing any of the said musical works titled ‘IDG’ and ‘Love Me or Give Me Red Wine’ in whatever manner pending the determination of the Applicant’s Motion on Notice already filed which shall be served on the Respondents within seven (7) days from today.
  2. That leave is hereby granted to the Plaintiff/Applicant to publish a copy of the enrolled order herein made in at least one (1) national Newspaper circulating in Nigeria.
  3. That due to the impending Court annual leave, the return date for the hearing of the Motion on Notice is herein fixed against the 26th day of September, 2022.

The document was “Issued at Lagos, under the Seal of the Court and by the hand of the Presiding Judge, this 20th day of July, 2022.”

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An interim injunction is a preliminary order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent someone from doing anything until a full trial is held to resolve the disagreement, after which the injunction may become perpetual.

Tempoe’s team wanted to prohibit Asa, Platoon, P-Priime, and Rue 11 from further advertising, utilizing, or profiting from the two aforementioned tracks.
Why this litigation is significant:
Over the last few years, Nigerian music has been rife with copyright concerns, notably around commercialization and rights.
This is owing to the nonchalance and ‘any way na way’ ethos that Nigerian music has become used to during the 1990s.
Historically, neither producers nor songwriters were aware of their rights. Nowadays, every composer is aware of their rights, and it is critical to demonstrate to corporations and individuals that the Nigerian legal and court systems can be functioning and dependable.

Just a few days before Pulse learned of this complaint, Mizzle, a music producer and musician, accused Blaqbonez of copying a song he had previously written with Blaqbonez following a financial conflict. Many of these things occur because Nigerian music producers have become accustomed to better treatment since Western firms began to enter the continent.
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This also occurs because certain artists believe that certain producers have begun to overplay their hands, their prominence, and the value of their production/beats in order to make unreasonable demands on advertisements and financials. As a result, following a dispute, they may seek to reproduce specific tracks with another producer.

“It’s the new epidemic,” a music executive said. “We have impressive producers who have seen money and are now playing by those standards, which is very understandable. However, they fail to see that in certain cases, compromise is also necessary.
However, I recognize that when you continuously compromise, you lose your worth since people admire steadfast individuals who give the impression of ‘premium.’ As a result, musicians are often forced to remake songs.”
Predicting the suit’s fate: Based on the trajectory of similar suits outside the country with a similar jurisdiction, suits like this can be complicated, especially if the album versions of ‘IDG’ and ‘Love Me or Give Me Red Wine’ are not a direct recreation of the respective songs, which were originally produced by Tempoe. In this situation, ‘direct replication’ would imply first-rate copy of the artist’s original strings, melodies, drums and percussion, effects, and delivery style.
However, if the replica is merely a remote or second-grade imitation that keeps the Asa vocals, as it did on the version generated using Tempoe, then evidence would decide the amount of imitation and resemblance. In this situation, an expert witness would be required, most likely a seasoned musicologist, who would dissect the parallels or differences between the various versions of both songs, made by Tempoe and P-Priime.
That musicology would be studied in order to establish the imitation and similarities, through strings, melodies, drums and percussions, effects, and the artist’s delivery. Evidence would next be necessary to demonstrate or refute the amount of mimicry and the artist’s aim.
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However, if the P-Priime versions of both songs are a direct replica or reproduction of the Tempoe versions, the matter may have already been determined. Even still, professional judgment and documentation would be required to show the parallels.
It would just be a quicker procedure.

Regardless, the outcome of this case is significant because it will set a precedent for future disputes involving intellectual property.
Its speed and success would also help to restore trust in the Nigerian legal and judicial systems, which has been diminishing.
The significance of this Pulse Exclusive: The court stated three points in its ruling. One of them was a grant of leave to “the Plaintiff/Applicant to publish a copy of the enrolled order hereby made in at least one (1) national Newspaper circulating in Nigeria.”

pulse will further furnish the public with important details, as they unfold

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