About a week ago, I visited Linda Ikeji’s blog and read a news story that was clearly not her own but had no attribution whatsoever. I thought, “didn’t she learn from the whole Google blog shut down fiasco a little over a year ago?”
While Linda has made some efforts to cite her sources, her attempts are overall far and few between, in my observations.
Fast forward to this week and I read a story about Women’s Wear Daily, the Western fashion industry bible, filing an infringement suit against FashionSnoops.com. The lawsuit mirrors the kind of lawsuit I foresee Ikeji could face if she continues with her pattern. What is interesting too is that I don’t think the lawsuit will necessarily come from Nigerians. Given Ikeji’s continued growth and sometimes outranking mainstream American media on Google’s first page, she can be susceptible as Western content providers begin to follow the money trail that leads to her doorsteps.
To all bloggers, content owners are becoming more aggressive in defending their intellectual property rights where bloggers use their work without attribution or consent. Do not think that because you are in Nigeria or other parts of Africa, you are shielded from legal liability. In the case of Nigeria, Nigeria is a part of several multilateral agreements and treaties that protects the intellectual property rights of non-Nigerian citizens whose content are infringed upon in Nigeria. The way it works, countries who are also part of the same multilateral agreements and treaties also reciprocate in protecting the intellectual property rights of Nigerian citizens in their respective countries.
Check out the very interesting lawsuit filed by WWD on TheStyleoftheCase blog.