A federal high court in Calabar, has awarded a five hundred million naira damages against the cross river state government over copying communication to the public and broadcast of musical works and sound recordings belonging to copyright society of Nigeria (COSON).
Justice Inyang Ekwo who gave the judgement in Calabar on Monday said Cross River state has been using the songs of COSON members during the annual Calabar carnival without paying to the copyright owners.
The case which was instituted in Lagos in November 2013 under justice I.N Buba was transferred to the Calabar federal high court in 2014 with case number fh/cal/cs/15/2014 and has governor Ben Ayade, Cross River state government and the attorney general and commissioner of justice as defendants.
However, cross river state government has expressed it’s readiness to appeal against the judgement.
Attorney general and commissioner for justice, Joe Abang said members of COSON have been part of the carnival event and that the cross river state government has been paying them annually through the leadership of the society.
Abang said while the state will respect court judgement on the matter, it will proceed for an appeal immediately in other not to give bad impression to the millions of people and corporate organizations who see the Calabar carnival and festival as a brand.