Yesterday, Nigerian singer Danny Young, called out Mavin Record’s Tiwa Savage for infringing on his copyright, alleging that the pop queen used parts of the content off his 2009 record, ‘Oju Tiwon’, to make her newly released single, ‘One’.
In a video posted on his Instagram page, the singer made an effort to show similarities between the two records. But rather than sympathy, Danny Young received heavy bashing from music fans who accused him of seeking attention.
In other to seek for more clarity and legal perspective on the allegations, NET spoke out to popular entertainment lawyer, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa who submitted that the accuser may actually have a case against Tiwa even though the lyrics in question is widely known as a commonly used Yoruba language proverb –O d’odun lan ri orogbo, o do’dun lan ri ahusa, o d’dodun lan ri omo obi lori igba– which when translated means “cash crops such as kola and walnuts are valuable every year”).
Akinyemi pointed out that the MTV EMAs winner also switched the pace and used a different key and as such could argue that there are disparities between both records.
But the legal expert also agreed that there were some similarities in the melody and complete sentence used by Danny Young where he sang, “O d’odun lan ri orogbo, o do’dun lan ri ahusa, o d’dodun lan ri omo obi lori igba, my life don better;’ the same lyrics clearly used by Tiwa Savage. He further said that if Danny’s own was actually an original creation, and its replication by the accused contributes value to her own creation, then the singer could snatch a favourable judgement.
“The similarities are strong enough, but again the lyrics were built on a popular proverbial saying which nobody can lay claim to. However, the manner with which he used it was quite original to him and unique, so if an average listener who has heard Danny Young’s before listens to this new track and can only cast back their mind to when they first heard it in 2009, that should be the objective test,” he said.
He cited the case between American singers, Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and Mavin Gaye, where the late Gaye’s estate sued both singers and got a landmark judgement for using his 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up,” for their 2013 Billboard Song of the Summer “Blurred Lines.”. Gaye’s estate now gets 50% of all royalties from that song forever.
There has not been a statement from the Mavin camp on this development and it remains to be seen if Danny Young will follow up his Instagram accusation with legal proceedings and pursue the opportunity to become landmark copyright judgement in the Nigerian music industry.