In a series of tweets, Tomi Adesina, a fast-rising Nigerian writer and AMVCA nominee for “Hakkunde”, accused iRoko TV of copyright infringement. The screenwriter called the streaming platform out for adopting one of her blog series “Beautiful Stranger” into the film “Swings” and streaming it on their platform without her permission.
She claimed she had written the series which she published on her blog and as a free E-Book in 2015. She also emphasized that all the characters and dialogues were adopted verbatim.
In one of her tweets, she wrote: “Of all the stories I have ever writtern, ‘Beautiful Stranger’ is one that is most dear to me, anyone who knows me can attest that I take cancer themes really seriously… I suffered physically and emotionally to write that story for 84 days and nights, so it hurts me so much to see a big international brand like @irokotv reaping from where it did not sow. And doing so very boldly”.
The writer also tweeted that all her efforts through her lawyer to get iROKOtv to take down the movie from their site was declined and the streaming platform declared that they didn’t produce the film.
Replying to this accusation in a statement sent to Pulse Nigeria, Founder of iRoko TV, Jason Noku said that the movie “Swings” was produced by Ghanaian production company, DEO Studio/Daniel Edah Production and that his platform has no affiliation with the production of the film.
He also said: “Tomi Adesina’s legal team alerted IROKOtv to this specific incident two weeks ago and we promptly addressed the issue with Tomi Adesina’s legal team within five days; we also received an acknowledgment from her lawyers that she had received a response from our team.
To clarify, and in no uncertain terms, ROK did not produce the movie, neither did irokotv.com Limited or Rok Studios Limited finance the production of the same content. Twitter is not the forum for such discussions, nevertheless, we are happy to continue this conversation offline with Tomi Adesina” .
The screenplay for “Swings” on iRokoTV is credited to Babatunde Adewale.