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Femi Adebayo wins N25m lawsuit against media company, discourages piracy

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Nigerian Film Producer and Actor Femi Adebayo has been awarded N25 million in a lawsuit involving his company and an unnamed media company.

It was reported that the media company, using YouTube, overlayed promotional materials for his 2019 theatrical movie “Survival of Jelili” to coax audiences into believing they were watching the actual film.

The media channel owner’s action boosted the views of another YouTube title that earned unaccounted revenue streams over time.

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The judge ruled in their favor, slamming the aggregator money damages of up to N25M.

The actor, commenting on the issue, said, “The Nigerian film industry has experienced exponential growth over the years, but we haven’t been able to maximize the true dividends of this business because of dare-devil pirates who benefit where they didn’t sow. This is a major reason investors find it hard to commit their funds to filmmakers.”

Adebayo urged his colleagues to use the legal framework covering intellectual property to bring perpetrators’ activities to a halt.

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He said, “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. 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.”

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The actor stated it took three years for the YouTube channel to fight this action, but his trust in the legal and justice system remained unwavering.

He encouraged filmmakers to be ready to fight intellectual property theft and piracy at all levels.

Femi Adebayo first produced ‘Jelili’ in 2011, then subsequently ‘Survival of Jelili’ in 2019.

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