Femi Adebayo Wins ₦25 Million in Damages in Legal Battle Against Pirates

Femi-AdebayoFemi Adebayo

Femi Adebayo has won a 3-year legal battle against a media company for piracy.

Femi Adebayo, who hails from Kwara State, is a talented Nollywood actor and producer known for his roles in Yoruba movies.

Femi Adebayo won ₦25 million in damages in a lawsuit against an online media company, Murphy Ben International, for exploitation of the intellectual property of his film, Survival of Jelili.

Piracy has been a long-lasting battle in the Nollywood film industry, from illegal distributors to websites and blogs. Despite its damage to the industry, actors and filmmakers have found ways to tell their stories and share their art with a substantial global audience.

In a statement shared on his Instagram, Femi Adebayo said:

The Nigerian film industry has experienced exponential growth over the years, but we haven’t been able to maximise the true dividends of this business because of dare devil pirates who benefit where they didn’t sow. This is a major reason why investors find it hard to commit their funds to filmmakers. However, through persistence and the use of the legal framework covering intellectual property, we can bring their activities to a gradual halt.

Several times, I have been a victim of movie pirates and I never spare them. I recently concluded a legal battle with a notable media company that owns a big radio station and also engages in youtube content distribution. During the cinema run of “Survival of Jelili” in 2019, my movie was gathering good numbers at that time. They decided to use my movie poster and title to promote a movie on their platform, thereby deceiving fans and diverting revenue accrued to me.

It took 3 years, but my trust in the legal and justice system remained unwavering. With the dedication of our legal team, Bola Adebowale & Co Legal Practitioners, who are seasoned professionals with wealth of experience in handling such cases. They presented undeniable evidence, put up a strong argument, and took the case to trial. Their promptness, efficiency, and attention to detail played a huge part in the direction of the case. We won and were awarded a total of Twenty Five Million Naira.

This isn’t just my win as a filmmaker and content producer but a win for all of Nollywood. We need to be ready to fight IP theft and piracy at all levels. Every win brings us closer to protecting and getting the true economic value of our works.

The media platform, via their YouTube channel, used images from his film to create another YouTube video to increase their views and, in return, make money.

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Toyin Abraham has also spoken out against piracy and how it has caused mental unrest for her as a filmmaker. Five suspects were charged in court earlier this year for illegally leaking her 2023 movie, Malaika, online. They were accused of stealing intellectual property, conspiring, and attempting to obstruct justice. [Pulse].

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