There are reports making the rounds that award winning Nigerian singer, Innocent 2Baba Idibia and his wife are to face the law for allegedly infringing on the rights of a photographer that took their traditional wedding photos.
According to reports, in a suit which was filed before Justice Mohammed Idris, a certain photographer named Emmanuel Okolo, sued the couple for N120 million copyright infringement for allegedly using photographs he took of them at their traditional wedding in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in 2013, without giving him credit as the owner of the photos.
According to Emmanuel some days after the wedding, Annie contacted him and asked for the photographs which he immediately sent to her. Upon receiving his photos, he said Annie complained about his watermark on the photos and asked that they be removed. He said Annie sent Antonio Anifite to negotiate with him.
He claims that he immediately released the photos to Antonio free of charge with the understanding that when it will be uploaded on Tuface’s personal website, he will be duely credited. Emmanuel says he was surprised to find out that when the photos where uploaded, 148 out of the 355 high resolution photographs he took were uploaded without his watermark on them.
On that note, he claimed to have suffered general and exemplary damages which he is seeking N120million compensation from the celebrity couple.
In a swift contrast to the claims of Emmanuel, there was a counter suit filed by the Idibia’s claiming N150 million for damages, they said the photographer was never invited to take photos at their wedding, that he was just one of the many uninvited photographers who came to their wedding to make some money via photography.
The Idibia’s in their suit said that after their wedding, they noticed strange copies of their wedding photos in circulation with Emmanuel’s studio watermark on them and after finding out they were taken by him, they approached him, expressing their displeasure. He apologized and also forced the photos on the Idibia’s, saying he wants them to use it so he can leverage on their popularity.
They however made him understand that the only way they will use the photos was for his watermarks to be completely removed. This he allegedly agreed to. The Idibia’s said they were shocked when after uploading the photographs, he wrote a pre-litigation letter to them demanding that his watermarks be boldly inscribed across the photographs and a letter of apology.