Legal Drama

What a Shame: Magikal Entertainment to Sue Rising Star COCO ICE Over Unpaid Debts

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You all know I thought promising act COCO Ice was one to watch. However, before she even gets her footing off the ground, she is embroiled in a legal mess for allegedly walking away from a valid contract with her management/pseudo-record label team.

The dispute between the two is so bad, all of Coco Ice’s videos have been taken down. Further, there was an initial press release sent which I did not see the need to indulge in, and of late the second one below.

The management of Magikal Entertainment have resolved to take a legal action against the rap artiste, CocoIce over a lingering unpaid debt running into several millions of Naira the artiste is owing the management company after having made several overture to her for her to pay up the money. This much was revealed in a statement made available to us by the company.

According to Biodun Caston-Dada, the management CEO, “we have sent her several e-mails, requesting for the payment of the debt since she had signed up with a record label over 4 months ago, but she had been ignoring our mails and NEVER replied any, this her nonchalant attitude is leaving us with no other option but to take a legal action for us to be able to recoup our investment made on her and the money she’s owing us. We have a duly signed agreement by her that she is owning Magikal and we are set to recoup the money through a legal means”, he stated.

The management company further stated that the money in contention were spent on her songs and music video productions, welfare as well as many other promotional items while she was still with the company.
The company said that they’ve tried all within their power to resolve the issue amicably out of court but the rap artiste is not yielding on her part or show any concern to pay up the said money.

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My Thoughts

AML artists I promise you all I am on to the second draft of my book, “Nigeria Music Industry and the Law” ( I am not revealing the official/complete title just yet). There is a need for the kind of book I am writing because of stories like this one and many others on AML. I know the final draft has to be completed this year because my 2014 will leave me no room to write, just promotions only. So, I am looking forward to promoting the book in the summer of 2014.

Folks, we keep seeing these kinds of situations and you gotta wonder both from the artist, management and label perspectives, how do you run effective businesses or forge effective partnerships when it is hard to trust that people will carry out the terms of their agreements?

Also, while I have seen some of the agreements within the industry, I’d be interested in seeing what these artists are signing with their labels and management teams et. al. that makes them just walk out or threaten to? Are the contracts unconscionable? Artists, what about the investments from the labels or management team? Do you expect to walk out with no monetary repercussions?

Here are my predictions if we continue in this vein:

1) Until now, we have not really seen labels or management outfits stick it to artists when they walk out. How many artists has Storm Records and other labels just let walk out? The tide is about to change and I expect we will begin seeing legal dramas as labels/management outfits getting tired of it all begin holding artists accountable in a court of law, not just in the court of public opinion.

It used to be labels made the lives of artists a living hell if they walked out. However, with the digital revolution, artists seem to be able to bypass all of that. Therefore, expect the labels or management outfits to go the court route. Expect them to sue the artists and third parties like the likes of Spinlet et al. who knowingly engage in business with these artists, despite exclusive contracts signed by these artists with their labels/management teams.

2) I predict, for artists, that they will seek lawyers out more so than ever before because these labels will begin holding their feet to the fire.

3) For artists, I also predict an increase in litigation against larger companies like MNET, Glo, Banks, COSON (Paul Play Dairo anyone) etc. who use their work without authorization. Times are changing.

Get ready. There will be inevitable rough legal battles ahead. We are just getting warmed up and Nigeria is just learning the ropes.

NOTE: I still think Coco Ice Should change that name. I am not sure why she insists on keeping that stage name.
-Uduak

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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