These are indeed hard times for film makers in Nigeria as the fight against piracy continues to yield little or no results. With the recent widespread piracy of Nollywood films, October 1 by Kunle Afolayan, 30 Days in Atlanta by Ayo Makun and several others, another filmmaker, Dotun Taylor has cried out over his unreleased movie, Egberun Maili being pirated online. Taylor, who was one of the several Nollywood practitioners that protested against piracy in Lagos last week, said: ‘In 2010, we at Aroba Groove, produced Egberun Maili, which premiered at the Silverbird Galleria, Lagos and the prestigious Prince Charles Cinema UK, anchored by Late Mobola Shoremekun. After showing at the Cinemas for about one year, a marketing deal was struck between Aroba Groove and Epsalum Pictures to distribute the film, with a clearly written understanding that the film cannot be exchanged in a third party deal, be it Television or otherwise, with emphasis on African Magic as at then, and one Mr. Sola Ayorinde (editor) as witness.’ ‘Just as we, Aroba Groove and Epsalum pictures were again concluding a deal for the eventual marketing of our new film, Eko Wenjele and hit Location, our film, Egberun Maili just surfaced online on a YouTube film channel, called Yorubahood, monetised and raking in advertisement. Knowing that Epsalum production is not registered as an online film distributor and we did not have any dealings with Yorubahood online, we quickly put up a video on our YouTube channel, youtube/dotuntaylor, complaining about the infringement as dated evidence. Not only did the online crook illegally uploaded Egberun Maili film, he went on to adjust the creative content by laying over some annoyingly loud music of his uncles, re editing some sequences, creating fresh opening and end credit. Knowing that YouTube will demand the licence to use some sensitive sound tracks which we sought permission to use in the film – eg, Angelique Kidjo, Fatai Rolling Dollars, etc, instead of approaching the copyright owner, Aroba Groove, he decided to tampered with the creative content, thus attracting a lot of negative comments towards the artwork.
We at Aroba wish to disassociate our brand from the unfortunate, illegal, criminal and shameful version of Egberun Maili, that a new kind of online Pirates, known as Yorubahood has uploaded. We are using this medium to appeal to him to bring it down with immediate effect. And we think if we are troubled about jungle piracy, then here is online piracy and a silent rip-off on Nigerian film. Egberun Maili is a creative product of Aroba Groove as registrars under the Nigerian Film Censors Board and Copyright Commission under same name, Dotun Taylor.’
Efforts to reach representatives of Yorubahood for comments has since proved abortive.