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Motion Pictures with Chidumga Nollywood has lessons to learn from Omoni Oboli's copyright infringement case

Nollywood is the major winner in the copyright case between Omoni Oboli and Raconteur Productions.

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Omoni Oboli and Chioma Chukwuka at the premiere of "Okafor's Law" play

Omoni Oboli and Chioma Chukwuka at the premiere of "Okafor's Law"

In September 2016, a Canada-based writer, Jude Idada, publicly accused Omoni Oboli of stealing his story and idea for her new movie "Okafor's Law."

For months, colleagues, the media and even some of her fans waited for the actress to address the accusation, which happens to be a grave one.

Unfortunately, there was no word about it, until, she was served an injunction to halt the Nigeria premiere of the movie which was scheduled for Friday, March 24, 2017, and also the general release of the movie scheduled for Friday, March 31, 2017.

Okafor's Law poster. play

Okafor's Law poster.



An emotional Oboli finally addressed it, insisting that she wrote the script while describing the injunction as bullying and abuse of the law.

In my opinion, the scenario that occurred on Friday was one that could have been avoided. Oboli isn't exactly the most private celebrity on social media.

Prior to the release of her movie "Wives on Strike," the actress addressed allegations that the movie is an imitation of the Spike Lee movie "Chi-Raq."

In 2016, she responded to a negative review of her movie on YNaija. The online media site had listed her 2016 box office record breaker "Wives on Strike" as one of the worst movies of the year. She responded because "sometimes we let rubbish go on for too long and it doesn't even help any of us! "

play Jude Idada


It was simply surprising that she chose to respond to something as trivial as that, but, chose to remain mum over public accusations as serious as copyright infringement.

I had assumed that she was handling it privately in court or outside the court, after all, we were talking about copyright infringement; a topic that could destroy her career.

According to the plaintiff, Raconteur Productions, several attempts were made to bring the parties to the discussion table. They also told Pulse that a formal letter was sent three weeks ago to the defendant, but it was ignored.

Following Friday's occurrence, it is safe to say that the actress didn't address the issue publicly or privately for reasons best known to her. But, I would say that she didn't address the topic because she underestimated their capability to act.

"Okafor's Law" premieres at TIFF 2016 play

"Okafor's Law" premieres at TIFF 2016

(Instagram )

She could have remained silent because she is innocent and didn't want to feed the media, but, we are talking about 'theft, and there's nothing simple about such accusation.

Copyright Infringement is a frequent occurrence in the entertainment industry, but no one has done what Raconteur Productions did; halt an A-List premiere that cost lots of money to plan.

A quick throwback to when Media personality Wana Udobang accused Niyi Akinmolayan of copying Room 315 from her web series "Room 315."

It was a conversation on social media as both parties had their supporters. They settled out of court, but there was a conversation, one that actually involved the public.

Behind the scenes of Omoni Oboli's "Okafor's Law" play

Behind the scenes of Omoni Oboli's "Okafor's Law"


There are lessons for everyone in the film industry to learn from the ongoing case between Omoni Oboli and Raconteur Productions.

The industry is growing and as part of this growth, issues such as Copyright Infringement are being taken serious.

Taking sentiments away, this case is a win for Nollywood as an the industry. Writers and producers are finally headed towards treating contracts and copyright infringement as something sacred - whether as the accused or as the offended.

It is also the first of many infringement cases to come, and at the end of the day, Nollywood is the major winner.

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