iROKO Partners takes legal action against Afrinolly
iROKO Partners is taking legal action against Afrinolly, a self-styled mobile phone app focused on Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Nollywood. The app has built its business model on showing Nollywood feature films and trailers. The issue is that Afrinolly has never spoken to or been granted any rights to do so by iROKO Partners, whose entertainment library is in excess of 5,000 Nollywood movies.
Afrinolly, a Nigerian company based in Lagos, has been streaming Nollywood movies and trailers, exclusive to iROKO Partners, and others, without any authorisation or consent from the content owners. Afrinolly has gone further and misrepresented itself with handset manufacturers and telcos alike.
Jason Njoku CEO of iROKO Partners says: “In an industry that is rife with misrepresentation, piracy and copyright infringement, we are left with no option but to begin legal action against Afrinolly, who have been illegally building their business on our content.
“We spend millions of dollars legally buying and organizing Nigerian content and hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in combating piracy and ensuring movie producers are remunerated properly for their content. It is simply unacceptable for Afrinolly to steal their work and profit from it. It has caused great harm to our Nigerian-based content providers and has placed great strain on the delicate balance and ecosystem that exists. Afrinolly, since its inception, has never bothered to even discuss with us or other content owners and has definitely not remunerated anyone to date.
“We have been approached by a number of Nollywood producers, who have expressed dismay that their movies are being exploited. As part of our commitment to the lifeblood of the industry, the producers, we see no other means than to seriously consider our options, look at how we can manage the damage done to our reputation and bring this extraordinary mass copyright infringement to a swift conclusion.”
iROKO Partners, the world’s leading distributor of African entertainment, has formally asked the owners of Afrinolly to remove all illegally sourced content from iROKO Partners’ platform- YouTube channel – (NollywoodLove) and other owned and operated channels.
iROKO Partners will be seeking N100Mn compensation.
For further information please contact:
iROKO Partners email@example.com
Jessica Hope +44 203 176 2808
Pelham Bell Pottinger +44 20 7861 3821
Notes to editors
Launched in December 2011, iROKOtv is a subsidiary of iROKO Partners, Africa’s largest, legitimate distributor of Nigerian film and music entertainment with key partnerships with the likes of Facebook; iROKOtv viewers can login via their Facebook account, and is YouTube’s largest African partner. iROKO Partners is expected to increase its viewers to over 250 million in 2012 across its brands iROKOtv, iROKING (the “Spotify of Africa”), Nollywood Love and iROKtv, Africa’s answer to “E!”.
In April 2012 Tiger Global, a New York-based private equity and hedge fund run by an early investor in Facebook and Zynga, led two $4 million rounds of investment into iROKO Partners, in one of the largest ever fundraisings into a West African tech firm. The funding will continue to be used to build iROKOtv’s library and to continue working directly with Nollywood production houses to buy the higher prices for the online licenses to Nollywood films which enables them to better monetize their content and to reinvest in making more, higher quality productions.
In May 2012, iROKOtv announced that from 1 July 2012, subscribers across the world will have exclusive access to brand new and exclusive Nollywood releases, uploaded weekly for $5 per month and payable by SMS, PayPal or card.