Copyright Infringement: Stephanie Okereke-Linus Accused of Script Theft in ‘DRY’
Nollywood actress and producer Stephanie Okereke-Linus may soon be embroiled in a copyright infringement battle over her much acclaimed movie DRY.
Information reaching us claim that the cinematography of the movie DRY allegedly has “substantial similarity” and semblance to an original work, titled ‘BEHIND HER VEIL,’ written by lawyer and scriptwriter, Daniella Madudu. This work is said to have been written as early as 2011.
According to our source, a certain Joy Ndidi, who has been a known associate of Okereke-Linus was on Miss Madudu’s team of readers and editors in 2011. And this Associate is purported to have made a copy of the script ‘BEHIND HER VEIL.’
Madudu however had no inkling of foul play until the movie DRY premiered across cinemas in Nigeria, and her attention was drawn to the uncanny similarities in the stories.
In the documents prepared by Lagos based solicitors, Rafiu Bello & co, the obviously distraught Madudu is requesting credits as owner of the original story, since a substantial part of ‘BEHIND HER VEIL’ was adapted for the movie DRY.
In addition to this, she is requesting a suitable compensation of N60, 000 (sixty Million Naira), and royalties, failing which she has threatened civil and criminal action against Stephanie Okereke-Linus and her associate, Joy Ndidi.
See a portion of the letter of demand below:
Meanwhile, Stephanie Okereke-Linus has yet to respond to these allegations personally or through her legal team.
When contacted on Thursday, June 1, 2017, Madudu’s lawyer said: “We are ready to file the suit anytime from tomorrow as stated in the demand letter. We have only waited for the 14 days to lapse to offer an opportunity for Mrs. Okereke-Linus to settle the matter amicably . The ultimatum lapses today.”
This drama is brewing on the heels of a copyright infringement scandal involving Canada-based Nigerian writer and filmmaker Jude Idada and Nollywood’s Omoni Oboli a few months ago. The premise for their case may have been different, especially as the movie in contention, Okafor’s Law was only just about to hit the cinemas when that scandal broke. But we can’t help wonder whose side the law will be on in the event that the parties seek legal redress.