Three days ago, Omonigho Imonah known as @omonighoimonah on instagram, one of Nigeria’s foremost fashion illustrators, made a complaint via a post on her instagram post check Omoni’s complaint here that a particular design she submitted for the GTB bank Sketch to Fame Challenge, was an inspiration for the outfit (which was designed by @michaelblackcollection ) that Ebuka wore for the Kings of Boys movie Premiere. Michael Black went ahead to show the design in sketch ( click here to view Michael’s sketch), but Omonigho’s sketch was out before his.
Omonigho claimed that she wasn’t given any credit and even when she tried to complain in the comment’s section of Ebuka’s Post, her comment was deleted.
Her followers and instagram users have shared a whole lot of thoughts. Some saying that that particular design is a popular one, others saying that she should have faced Michael Black who is the designer and not Ebuka and some others saying that the design was indeed somewhat copied.
But was exactly does the law say?
@youriplawyer shared thoughts on the side of the law. Please read below:
– Disclaimer; These are my thoughts as to my understanding of the relevant Law. This does not constitute legal advice nor does it create any legal relationship. It is not paid for and I will try to keep it brief…..
So we dive right in…
1. Fashion designs like sketches may qualify as artistic works and be eligible for copyright protection under the Nigerian Copyright Act.
2. For a sketch to so qualify, it must pass the Originality, Expression, fixation test.
3. If the sketch passes the above test. Then it may enjoy copyright protection.
4. To enjoy copyright protection, there is no need for registration, assertion suffices. Notification can be done too.
5. To prove an infringement or that your work has been copied, the test applied by Courts is usually the “similarity” test which include evidence of access to the original work, striking similarity, substantial similarity amongst others.
In my opinion, there is similarity in the one sided cape and the colour but there are disimilarities too.
Also, this call-out is good for consciousness in the fashion industry, there are no specific Laws yet protecting fashion designs in Nigeria(even in the US & EU [I stand to be corrected]) but with awareness & information we may get there someday.
Hope you found this helpful?
Disclaimer: This article was written by legalbants & youriplawyer for educational and informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The content contained in this article is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific matter or matters. This article does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between Legal Bants and you or any other user. The law may vary based on the facts or particular circumstances or the law in your state. You should not rely on, act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking the professional counsel of a legal practitioner licensed in your state. If this article is considered an advertisement, it is general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity.