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Damilare Kujembola: Dear Ayo Balogun (Wizkid)

Damilare Kujembola

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By virtue of the nature of my job, I see injustice almost every day in the Corporate world and Entertainment industry. I have seen another and I feel it is my duty as a fan to point it out.

Some days ago I was driving out of my house and I decided to buy your first album to listen to some old tunes, only to discover that you have released another album! I thought to myself, this must be another Beyonce stunt. I was a little disappointed because the album cover was below standard and it seemed there was something fishy about it, so I looked at the back of the cover only to discover that it couldn’t be traced to EME or Starboy or any Alaba dealer which was very strange. Still, I bought it for reference purposes and also to listen to some good tunes which made me fall in love with your brand in the first place.

It didn’t take long before I realized that the album didn’t originate from you. It got me worried for so many reasons. As an entertainment lawyer, I’ve come across a lot of piracy but none as bad as this. I have, therefore, decided to outline the possible problems and solutions (although I am not being paid to do so.)

Problems
This is a major breach of your copyright and trademark, that is if your stage name and Star Boy has been registered (if not it would fall under ‘passing off’). The distributors and pirates have compiled your work and sweat without authorization; they are also exploiting your goodwill to deceive people into buying their goods. It is very interesting and smart, because they have taken advantage of the delay in releasing an album to quench the thirst of your fans. There is no estimation as to the amount of profit that can possibly be made out of this act. Where I feel it would affect your business is if the list of songs on your album is totally different from what they have come out with. They have managed to compile 21 songs of yours that majority of your fans are in love with. If the list you put on your Instagram is anything to go by, they’ll be making more sales.

You have built a strong brand over the years (a brand so strong that even when you spat out Zombie we all fell in love with it), that you and your management might be led think that this act will not have any effect on your upcoming album, in the business sense. I would agree that your bargaining power would not be affected when negotiating with marketing platforms; however, I wouldn’t be shocked if the issue is raised.

Possible Solutions
First option, make a police report and try to work with some of the anti-piracy agencies and the Copyright Society of Nigeria in apprehending these smart guys. It is uphill task as there is no trace or anything linking the albums to anybody, so your best bet is interrogation and some oral evidence from some of the retail sellers on the road. There is no harm in trying.

If that is too much for you to handle, the next option would be to make use of your social media influence to dissuade your fans from buying the CDs; believe it or not, out of every ten followers you have, two would listen to you. Secondly, this might sound funny but you should consider releasing a two-in-one album. The second album should have most of the songs listed on the fake Star Boy album.

If this thing isn’t tackled now, it might escalate into a greater headache for your team.

God bless your hustle.

Trained in both US and Nigerian Laws, Damilare Kujembola is an Attorney qualified to practice law in Nigeria, specializing in Entertainment and Intellectual property transactions. Through his practice, Mr. Kujembola has developed an expertise in the area of licensing, distribution and financing of entertainment content as well negotiating talent deals. Through his words, he hopes to inspire a change in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry. Email: [email protected]

27 Comments

  1. nikky

    July 24, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Mr lawyer, wia did u buy the cd from? U dint say. Cos if u bought it in traffic or @ a passerbyby shed nt even store, u shldnt b so surprised.I’m sure wizzybaby is aware of dis

  2. Resoundingslap

    July 24, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Wizkid oya hire this writer as your entertainment lawyer and bless his hustle! Lol

  3. tomi

    July 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

    please i would really love to know the name of the university. Also interested in doing my masters in Entertainment law. thank you

  4. Ojie

    July 24, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Interesting. I would advise Wizkid to hire him!

  5. uche

    July 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Dear writer, thanks for bringing this to light but I an surprised u are one of such folks who misplace d use of been and being. U shld have wrote, I am not being paid to do so instead of am not been payed to do so or better still I have not been paid to do so.

    • ilaugh

      July 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      “Payed” Ke??

    • Anonymous

      July 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      LWKM!

    • ilaugh

      July 24, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      “You should have wrote” ke?

    • Ewa

      July 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Dear Uche onise, you should have used “written’ and not ‘wrote’. Thank you for pointing out Damilare’s error.

    • Angie...

      July 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Uche…First remove the tree in your eye o…..

    • Odon

      July 24, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      @ Uche u have no punctuation and wrong spelling in just the short sentence u wrote and u have the guts to correct someone who wrote longer sentences with just one error. Take several sits and eat bitter cola or go and brush up your writing skills.

  6. Mama mia

    July 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Kpash, these musicians rarely make albums anymore and I can understand why,they just put out singles and perform to get paid. I do not think any musician makes money off an album anymore so, do not sweat it.. I’m sha looking for the original of all tuface’s albums.

  7. Gistyinka Blog

    July 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Yeap Alaba piracy team are profiting from ignorance of most label records and COSON. I really love the way 2face approached his own new album that are selling on various online digital merchandise.
    Will only have noisemaker music industry, not the well structure music industry that will benefits all the stakeholders that have participate in the project.

  8. Temi

    July 24, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Hi Uche, with all due respect kindly read your comment again. The word you should have used is “written ” not “wrote” at least in light of what you were trying to point out. My point is do not point fingers nobody is perfect as they say ‘idea is need’ at least you got the point he was trying to make .gbam.

  9. lamba

    July 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

    A supposed advocate against piracy buying cds in traffic? Bruh, it all starts with you. Stop buying cds in traffic. need old tunes? they are on itunes

  10. sum1special

    July 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

    This hustle is real. wizkid oya do the needful.

  11. pj

    July 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

    lol, @ Temi, nice one Uche face your work! hehehehe

  12. Fume

    July 24, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Here comes the importance of proof reading and editing over and over. most times, even after doing these writers don’t see it. It happens to everyone, we should learn not to be so harsh on one another.

  13. Streamer

    July 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Hmmmm. Nigeria entertainment industry and the scourge of piracy. The only plus is that most artistes don’t make their money through album sales anymore so they tend to care less about piracy.

  14. dotty

    July 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    kettle calling pot black…LMAO @uche..see your life..teacher, na only you waka come! instead of getting info you were looking out for grammer..nnama like you…..

  15. sunshine

    July 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    But you could have sent Ayo Balogun an email though… #butthatsnoneofmybusiness

  16. roots odutola

    July 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    dare good piece..

  17. Concerned Reader

    July 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Dear Damilare,well done for doing this. But as you are aware this is not the first piracy to happen. Same occured with Asa about two years ago. Also I don’t get your remark ‘ Some days ago I was driving out of my house and I decided to buy your first album to listen to some old tunes, only to discover that you have released another album!’ Where have u been all these years..HOPE YOUR NOT FAKE

  18. felicia

    July 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Please are you married?

  19. Nitty

    July 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I’m assuming the author changed the grammatical error y’all are talking about cos I don’t see any

  20. pd

    July 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    “Ushe” onise,face ur work oooo….

  21. kehinde David Damilare

    September 14, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Na you get time Damilare… Wizkid hope say I no too late.

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