Monday, 9 June 2014

2Face, Ewa in Copyright Mess


  • Ewa denies infringement
  • Ghost of legal battle with R.Kelly resurfaces
Coming on the heels of the recent threat by award-winning singer, 2Face to take legal action against a budding act, Ewa over an alleged infringement on the copyright of his song, lawyers from Ewa's camp have responded to the threat even as music fans, colleagues and industry watchers are not certain how the pendulum will eventually swing.
2Face’s (born Innocent Idibia) record label, the 960 Music PR Team, had earlier issued a statement where it stated that the track, 'Crazy Love' recently released by Ewa amounted to an illegal manipulation of 2face's yet-to-be released song, 'Could This Be Love.'

The label disassociated itself from the song 'Crazy Love' and sent a very stern warning to Ewa.

"It has been brought to our attention that there is a song 'Crazy Love' being circulated on the internet which was composed and sang by one Ewa and purportedly featuring 2Face. We wish to use this medium to categorically state that 2Face did not feature in any song composed and sang by any Ewa. The song is an illegal manipulation and super-imposition on 2Face’s unreleased song titled 'Could This Be Love." This odious and fraudulent act is not only condemnable but also an assault to the integrity of the entertainment industry which thrives on creativity and hard work.


"In particular, the act is an infringement of 2Face right under the Copyright Act Cap C28, LFN 2004 and we shall employ the full force of law to enforce the breach of his reproduction, publishing, performance, communication rights, which have been breached. Take notice that any person who performs or caused to be performed the said infringing song shall also be guilty of infringement under the Copyright Act and we shall not hesitate to bring the full weight of law to bear on the person."

Responding to the threat, Ewa's lawyers made it clear that Ewa has not infringed on 2Face's copyright. From the tone of the response, fans of both artistes unanimously agree that the unfolding drama is far from over.
In an official response to the threat and alleged infringement, Ewa's lawyers, Avant & Schmidt Law firm established its role as counsel to Ewa and his record label, Vintage Ventures Media Group.

Ewa thereafter, clearly described 2face's allegations as not just defamatory, but offensive.


"We are solicitors to Ewa - a Nigerian-based up and coming performing & recording artiste, and Vintage Ventures- a subsidiary of the Vintage Media Group & artist managers of Ewa; hereinafter referred to as “Our Clients”, and on whose instructions we write. We have received notice of a publication purportedly circulated around various media houses by ‘960 Music PR Team’ alleging, in unequivocal terms, that the aforementioned recording artiste (Ewa) illegally manipulated and super-imposed 2face Idibia’s vocals in her recently released soundtrack: 'Crazy Love.' Not only do Our Clients find the insinuation and overall literature of the aforementioned publication offensive, defamatory and unfortunate, Our Clients also believe it was worded with intent to bring down their reputation before its family, friends, fan-base, business colleagues and the general public."

Ewa and his record label also shed light on how the song, 'Crazy Love' was born as well as 2face's involvement in the project.

"It is, for the purposes of clarity, pertinent that we categorically state... that in November 2013, Our Clients were approached by a music production outfit, who claimed to have the exclusive rights to the aforementioned vocals as studio-performed by 2Face Idibia... That on or around March 2014, our clients paid a considerable sum to this production outfit to source and secure the proprietary rights to the vocals for the purpose of Ewa recording the soundtrack: “Crazy Love”, purely for promotional purposes...

“...That the soundtrack: “Crazy Love” was recorded and released to the general public primarily for promotional purposes, and without any intent to publish or perform the track for any form of remuneration... That it is regrettable that, from the language of the publication, the aforementioned producers have in fact turned out to either not have any proprietary right to the vocals as performed by 2Face Idibia, or, for reasons best known to 2face Idiabia and/or his team, have had this proprietary right revoked by the said composer...”

Still on the issue of copyright infringement, Ewa made reference to 2Face involvement in an alleged copyright infringement against R.Kelly in the song ‘Flex’ in 2009 where 2Face was accused of infringing R.Kelly’s copyright.

“We categorically state that save for the absence of any intent by our client to profit from this track, this is an ordeal not dissimilar to a situation of misrepresentation of vocal ownership which 2Face Idibia notoriously found himself embroiled in, vis-à-vis his production and subsequent sale of a soundtrack titled: ‘Flex’¸ allegedly featuring American Artiste- R.Kelly, and without his express, verbal and direct consent, and published in your client’s album “Unstoppable”, sometime in 2009...

“As such, Our Clients view the publication circulated as completely inconsistent, and we totally condemn in the strongest terms, the said publication aimed at tarnishing the image that Our Clients are working assiduously to build through hard-work, dedication and self discipline. Our Clients have been devastated by these publications, and this development has greatly affected Our Clients’ business, image, reputation and state of mind. Our Clients have been inundated with, and are grateful for, all the calls and text messages by fans, friends & well-meaning Nigerians, who have all expressed shock at these publications and allegations. Needless to say, Our Clients remain firmly committed to recording and performing songs that will captivate its fan-base for many years to come.”



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By: SAMOD BIOBAKU

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