Lawsuit Awaits MTN Liberia Music Awards

The Liberia Copyright Association plans to sue the organizers of the MTN Liberia Music Awards (MLMA), the country’s largest music awards ceremony, for alleged copyright infringement, reports have been received.

The lawsuit already drawn is expected to be filed soon, intended to seek financial penalties, as well as an injunction to prevent further copyright infringement, by suspending the bounty program.

MTN Liberia Music Awards is owned and organized by Liberia Music Awards under the auspices of Lonestar Cell MTN. However, the telecommunications giant is not a potential party as it does not own any rights to the award.

The Daily Observer reports that COSOL, through its executive director Atty.Prince E. Decker, said the award violated the country’s intellectual property laws and subsequent regulations as a result of regulatory and statutory compliance failures. It has been held for many years.

“If you fail to obtain the proper licenses prior to hosting the aforementioned programs, you have no choice but to take necessary and appropriate legal action against your institution in accordance with the law,” he said. – Founder of the Liberian Music Awards.

Therefore, Atty. Among other things, Decker said, “Therefore, it is advisable to take steps and seek advice on how to obtain a copyright license before the MTN Liberia Music Awards ceremony begins.”

COSOL, through the Liberian Intellectual Property Office, is a specialized government agency tasked with protecting the economic rights of all artists across the country.

You protect your work by licensing it. We monitor users to enforce the terms under which we are licensed and collect and distribute royalties paid as a result of licensed use.

In particular, the pending lawsuit seeks to bind the award organizers for continued violations of the Intellectual Property Act 2016 and, in particular, the accompanying regulations relating to public performance rights.

Under copyright law, a public performance license is an agreement between music user rights management organizations, such as COSOL, that allows music users to play songs in public, online, or on the radio.

Meanwhile, the leaked letter was duplicated as telecom giant Lonestar Cell is the main sponsor of the award.

The partnership began in 2018 and since then the awards have transformed into the country’s most prestigious music awards show featured annually.

Presented by Lonestar Cell and the Liberia Music Award Foundation, the MTN Liberia Music Awards are the music industry’s highest honor, recognizing the best in artistic creativity each year.

According to COSOL, the MLMA show was organized in violation of section 9.6(v) of the 2016 LIPO Act and section 5.3 of the 2021 Administrative Regulations on Copyright License Fees for Use of Music and Film in Sound Recordings. Compliant. “

Meanwhile, the deputy president of the Liberian Musicians Guild, whose members’ work is usually used without permission, expressed dismay at the MTN Music Awards organizers for years without complying with the country’s copyright laws. .

“This is a criminal exploitation of our efforts as we spent hours creating these pieces,” said Tony Calbede. “But I am relieved that COSOL has woken up.”

Karbedeh goes on to give the public the impression that the organizers of the awards have violated the moral rights of the creators and that the company has approved the use of the work without a license.

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