Singer, Innocent Idibia and his wife, Annie Idibia have been slammed with a N120 million copyright infringement lawsuit by a photographer identified as Mr. Emmanuel Okolo.
According to PUNCH, 2Baba and Annie made use of some photographs he had taken at the traditional wedding of the celebrity couple in 2013 without duly attributing the works to him or giving him credit contrary to an alleged agreement.
The photographer, who sued alongside his company, Papilonmexy Films Studios Limited, claimed that the couple had watermarked 148 out of the 355 high-resolution photographs he took at the couple’s wedding with ‘2faceonline.com’ and uploaded them on 2baba’s official website.
The photographer also claimed that Annie had complained about the watermark of Papilomenxy studios on the photos when she had requested for the pictures. Annie had allegedly sent her hubby to negotiate with the photographer to release the photos without his watermark on them. The photographer stated that he had agreed to release the photos without his watermark free of charge on the terms that the copyright would be credited to his company whenever they are used.
Mr Okolo stated that their action had caused him to suffer general and exemplary damages. Mr Okolo stated that he has a Masters degree from Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries in the UK.
However, 2Baba and Annie urged the judge to dismiss the photographer’s suit and they, in turn, filed a countersuit of N150 million damages from him and his studio.
According to them, the photographer had crashed their traditional wedding and taken photos for commercial gains without their permission. They also claimed that he was just “one of the numerous photographers and pseudo-professionals and artisans, who invaded the venue of the ceremonies to eke out a living for themselves without prior consultation with or the consent of the celebrants.”
The couple had traced the photographer after they noticed different versions of their wedding pictures circulating online and when they had contacted him to express their displeasure, he pleaded with them that he was struggling with his photography business and will love to work in the future with them.
2Baba and Annie agreed to take the photos from the man after he begged them to help him get referrals with them. They had agreed on the condition that he removed the watermark of his company, which he allegedly agreed to do.