The Management of Lonstar Cell MTN has been dragged to court for allegedly violating the intellectual property rights of two Liberian musicians.
The mobile phone company has been accused of illegally using the songs and images of musician Peter C. Kamara and Francis R. Wollo who are popularly referred to as “PCK & Lfrankie” for promotional gains.
Addressing a news conference in Monrovia Thursday, December 13, 2018, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CT Com Liberia, Christopher Hayes Onanuga said the action of Lonestar Cell MTN against the two artists is criminal in nature and violates their rights as career musicians.
He said, CT COM Liberia being the company that manages the affairs of the two musicians, try to resolve the matter amicably (out of the court) by hiring its legal team to probe the matter through a formal conference with the management of Lonestar Cell MTN but all efforts prove futile.
According to him, in December of 2016 the Management of Lonstar Cell MTN following an ‘informal’ arrangement with the two artists downloaded their song – “Kill Your Dog” also known as “I Here” to be used as a ring-back tone for its many subscribers.
He said though a full agreement wasn’t reached between both the management of Lonstar Cell MTN and the two musicians, the mobile phone company without the consent of the two artists started using the musicians’ song as well as their portraits on all of its promotional leaflets and stickers.
A plaintiff complaint filed to the sixth Judicial Circuit Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia by CT Com hired Sherman and Sherman Law Firm reveals that, the management of Lonstar Cell MTN is in violation of section 9.1, section 9.26 (b), and section 9.29 of the Liberia Intellectual Property Act of 2016.
“Upon the receipts of these our Written Directions, Plaintiffs’ Complaint, affidavit and accompanying Exhibits, you are requested to issue the writ of Summons directed to the Sheriff for Montserrado County, commanding him to summon the Defendant (Lonstar Cell MTN) in the above entitled cause of action to appear before the Civil Law Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Montserrado County, on the 17th day of Dec A.D. 2018, at the hour of ten o’clock in the morning, same being the formal opening day of the Dec. A.D. 2018 Term of said Court, to answer the complaint of Plaintiffs in an Action of Damaged for a wrong,” a legal Written Direction which was addressed to the Clerk of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Madam Ellen Hall by and thru the legal counsels of the Sherman and Sherman Law Firm declared.