The MTN Liberia Music Awards may not hold

Following an ongoing trial of the Liberia Copyright Society against the organizers of the awards for alleged breach of the country’s Intellectual Property Act 2016.

The Copyright Society of Liberia plans to sue the organizers of the country’s biggest music awards night – the MTN Liberia Music Awards (MLMA) – for alleged copyright infringement.

The lawsuit, which has already been extended, is expected to be filed soon seeking monetary penalties as well as an injunction to prevent further copyright infringement by discontinuing the rewards program.

The MTN Liberia Music Awards are owned and organized by the Liberia Music Awards, with sponsorship from Lonestar Cell MTN. The telecommunications giant is not a stakeholder in the potential because the right to rewards does not belong to it. [1]

According COSOLthe awards have been held for years in violation of the country’s intellectual property law and regulations due to non-compliance with the regulations and the law.

“Your failure to obtain the appropriate license prior to hosting the aforementioned program will leave us no choice but to take necessary and appropriate legal action against your establishment as required by law,” COSOL Executive Director, Atty. Prince E. Deckersaid in a letter to Boakai Boleythe co-founder of the Liberia Music Awards.

“You are [therefore] encouraged to take action and seek advice on how to obtain a copyright license before the start of the MTN Liberia Music Award ceremony.”

COSOL, a specialized government agency through the Liberian Intellectual Property Office, is responsible for protecting the economic rights of all artists across the country. It protects their works by authorizing their use; monitor the user to enforce the terms on which the license was granted, and collect and distribute the royalty due as a result of the licensed use.

The ongoing lawsuit seeks to hold the organizers of the awards for persistently violating the country’s Intellectual Property Act 2016 and accompanying regulations, particularly regarding public performance rights. Under copyright law, a public performance license is an agreement between a music rights management organization, such as COSOLwhich allows a music user to stream a song in public, online or on the radio.

Meanwhile, the letter, which has been leaked, had the telecommunications giant Lonestar Cell copied since they are the main sponsor of the prize.

The partnership began in 2018, and since then the award has grown into the nation’s most prestigious music awards show presented annually. The MTN Liberia Music Awards, presented by Lonestar Cell and the Liberia Music Award Foundation, is the highest honor in the music industry – rewarding the best in artistic creativity every year.

According COSOLthe MLMA broadcast is being conducted in violation of Section 9.6(v) of the 2016 LIPO Act and, pursuant to Section 5.3 of the 2021 Copyright License Tariff By-Law for the Use of music and movies in sound recording.

In the meantime, the interim president of the Union of Musicians of Liberiawhose members’ works are usually exploited without permission, expressed dismay that the organizers of the MTN Music Awards have been holding an award for years without complying with national copyright laws.

“This is a criminal exploitation of our efforts as we spent hours generating these works,” Tony Karbedeh said. “However, we are relieved that the COSOL is now awake.

Karbedeh pointed out that the organizers of the awards are infringing on the moral rights of creators, giving the public the impression that they have approved the company to use their work without a license.

Copyright FrontPageAfrica. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (, source English press service

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