It is no longer news that rapper Danny Young’s decision to drag Tiwa Savage and Mavin Records to court for infringing his copyright is still trending in entertainment circles.
While some people appear to be concerned about the possible implications of the development for Nigeria’s entertainment industry, others have tried to persuade Danny Young to drop the charges against Miss Savage.
Anxious to correct the impression that by suing Savage for a whopping sum of N200m, he was probably eyeing her money, Danny, in an interview with Punch Metro on Wednesday, said his decision was really driven by a need to compel people to do the right thing, not money.
The singer said, “I wish that Nigerians would stop treating this issue of copyright violation with levity. A lot of people don’t understand how this thing works. They don’t even know the value of their copyright. It is no fault of theirs, though. It is because many artistes have been infringing other people’s copyright. Now everybody thinks it is a normal thing to do in Nigeria. Some people even think it is wrong to complain.”
Danny said that what pained him was the fact that neither Tiwa Savage nor Mavin Records made any effort to discuss with him on the issue.
“I reached out to them through my lawyer. When I found that Tiwa had infringed my copyright, the first thing I did was to make a video in which I expressed my displeasure with what she did. I had to do this because she gave somebody else the credit for my own song. I don’t want to mention the person’s name because I have no business with him.
“All she needed to do was simply reach out to me and apologise for her action because I am the originator of that content. But she didn’t. She ignored me and made it seem as if I was talking nonsense. I felt really bad about it,” he said.
Danny Young claimed that Tiwa Savage infringed his copyright to Oju ti tiwon, one of his hit songs released in 2009. “It was one of the biggest songs in that year,” he added.
The artiste noted that copyright violation had already gone beyond control in Nigeria and he described the more experienced artistes in the country as the greatest culprits.
“The person I have an issue with was educated abroad and she is experienced. I am sure that she understands what it means to violate another person’s copyright. If people like her disobey the copyright law or continue to infringe other people’s copyright, it means that they know what they are doing. It also means that they deliberately do it because this is Nigeria and they expect that nobody will challenge them. But this is wrong.
“We are in a music industry that is growing and we intend to go higher in the future. This cannot be achieved if copyright laws are flagrantly disobeyed. I believe the artistes copyright is the only right that he has. He is also supposed to make money from his copyright, even after he has retired from music.
“So when other people keep abusing his copyright, at the end of the day it means that he has been in music for nothing. It is just like building a house without having a certificate of occupancy. This cannot continue in Nigeria,” he said.