The management of Solution Media & Infotech, owners of Hi-Impact TV, has described the copyright infringement allegation by Remedium Law Partners, a Nigerian legal firm, as “baseless”.
The legal firm, on Wednesday, demanded £1m from Sky TV, a UK-based cable television station, as compensation for the alleged copyright infringement of ‘Urban Kitchen’, a TV programme.
In a statement through Paul Michael, its spokesman, the company also demanded N100m compensation from Solution Media and InfoTech Limited/Hi-Impact TV, for airing the same programme.
In the statement, both firms were accused of “fraudulently” broadcasting ‘Urban Kitchen’ without due authorisation and permission of Sate Television, the producer of the content.
The company’s position was contained in a letter signed by Rockson Igelige, a principal partner of the legal firm, and addressed to Adeyanju Lipede, CEO of Solution Media and InfoTech Limited/Hi-Impact TV, and Jeremy Darroch, CEO of Sky UK Limited.
Remedium Law Partners also demanded another £250,000 from Solution Media and InfoTech Uk Limited as compensation for copyright violation of the said TV programme.
The firm added that a twenty-one day deadline has been given to both Solution Media and InfoTech Limited/Hi-Impact TV, Sky TV UK as well as Solution Media and InfoTech UK Limited to comply with the demands.
It also threatened to take legal action against the mentioned media companies if they fail to comply with its demand.
“Our Client informed us that on 25th February, 2020, one Mr. Andrew Ohio, acting on behalf of your organisation, Solution Media and InfoTech Limited, owners and/or operators of Hi-Impact Television, contacted them to express interest in their programme, ‘Urban Kitchen,” the letter read.
“While waiting for the formalisation of the agreement, it came to the knowledge of our Client that Hi-Impact Television had started airing ‘Urban Kitchen’ on or before 2nd April, 2020, not only in Nigeria, which is the specified broadcast territory in the terms of the proposed contract, but also in the United Kingdom through Sky TV, a cable television company that reaches millions of viewers globally.
“Our Client did not at anytime give permission, authorisation or consent to Hi-Impact Television to broadcast Urban Kitchen, whether in Nigeria or anywhere else. Note that even though on 2nd March, 2020, your Head of Programmes, Abiola Adelanwa, signed a unilaterally altered version of the draft agreement, our Client declined to counter-sign it. Moreover, they had not paid the agreed price and our Client has not delivered the episodes for the purpose of broadcast.”
The legal firm also demanded that the further airing of the programme be halted until the formalisation of an agreement with Sate TV and payment of an agreed Nigerian and UK prices for all twenty-six episodes of the programme produced so far.
Hi-Impact TV Reacts
Reacting to the development, Hi-Impact TV described the allegations as “baseless”, adding that the demands are “unwarranted”.
It also claimed that it has fulfilled its part of the agreement entered with Sate TV before commencing broadcast of the said television programme.
Nas Ogunsakin of Abdullahi Ibrahim and Company, who spoke on behalf of Hi-Impact TV, also warned Dauda Omoluku, CEO of Sate Media Limited, to stop provoking their client who he said committed no offence.
Igelige, however, replied Ogunsakin, arguing that he was misinformed by his client (Hi-Impact TV).
He also stated that there was no formal agreement signed by his client (Omoluku) to grant license to Hi-Impact TV to broadcast ‘Urban Kitchen’ in Nigeria or abroad.
“Can Hi-Impact TV tell us in plain terms, who it paid for the cost of broadcasting the TV programme or is a content owner not deserving of payment for his labour before such is used to generate income by others? Let me remind Nas Ogunsakin that his Client never had the permission of our Client to air Urban Kitchen,” Igelige said.
“For the matter of fact, our Client declined to counter-sign a copy of a doctored agreement signed and sent to our Client by Mr. Abiola Adelanwa, Head of Programmes at Hi-Impact TV. Why was this action taken if the documents that Hi-Impact TV is relying on are valid? We advise all parties involved in this sabotage and copyright infringement of our Client’s hard labour to simply comply with our demands and terms of settlement or be prepared for legal action.”
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