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‘COSON loses out!’ Finally, MCSN declared as CMO recognised by FG



‘COSON loses out!’ Finally, MCSN declared as CMO recognised by FG

The lingering battle between the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, MCSN, and Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, regarding who is legally empowered to act as a Collective Management Organisation, CMO, has taken a new twist, with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, declaring publicly that the former is the only society empowered by the regulatory agency to be the sole CMO for the Nigerian music industry.

The Director-General of NCC, Dr. John Asein, who made this clarification during the week, in Lagos, said this has become necessary, so as to put to rest the lingering issue of which of the two societies is empowered by NCC to collect royalties on behalf of the musical artists.

Speaking through a representative, Mr. Matthew Adeniyi-Ojo, at the meeting of the Board of Trustees of MCSN, which was held in its office, in Ikeja, to re-elect reggae star, Orits Williki, as the BoT Chairman of the society, Dr. Asein noted that there is only one approved collecting society for all the genres of music in the country.


According to him, there is need to address the matter, as the commission is currently inundated with complaints and calls from copyright users, in respect of which of the two should be recognised as a collecting society.

“In Nigeria today, there is only one approved collecting society for all the genres of music, no other one. If you see any organisation on the street claiming to be a collecting society for the music industry, tell that organisation it’s not true. That’s the position of the law as far as NCC, which has the approving power, is concerned.

“I want you to spread this news because a lot of confusion on the streets; and it’s even robbing the commission.

“The confusion has to be addressed. We can’t continue like this. We receive letters, calls everyday. People are confused, even when the genuine collecting society is making demands, they don’t trust them because they don’t know who to pay.

“So, we need to educate members of the public on this issue, so that we can move forward. No one is quarreling with anybody but we are only stating what the law says,” Dr Asein said.

Asien’s remarks came as the re-elected BoT Chairman of MCSN, Orits Williki noted that COSON lacks the approval of the NCC from ab-initio, and therefore, cannot operate as a collective management organization.

He argued that the society came into existence in 2010, six years after the coming into force of the Copyright Act in 2004, meaning that its composition and operations fit the provisions of sections 17 and 39(8) of the Copyright Act(Cap. C.28LFN)2004.

Speaking further, Williki said the judgment of Honourable Justice Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos being relied on by COSON may have been entered with certain necessary facts and law deliberately concealed from the court.

“Had all these facts and cases not concealed from Honourable Justice Oweibo, the court would not have delivered the said judgment in favour of COSON, as being paraded and, as such, the judgement was given in error, or obtained fraudulently.”

“COSON therefore can not lay claim to any legal standing and free from acting illegally, unless it successfully crossed the major legal hurdles,” Williki added.

He, therefore, called on all existing licensees and users of music in general to perfect their standing and update their licences from the society, as they shall be wielding the legal stick against any recalcitrant infringers of copyright in musical works and recording across the country.

While acknowledging the efforts of the NCC in getting the rights of creators of intellectual works respected in all fields protected by law, Williki warned any organization parading itself as a collecting management organization without the obligatory approval of the NCC under whatever guise should resign in without further delay or face the wrath of the law.

The NCC renewed MCSN’s approval to continue to operate as a collecting society for musical works and sound recordings in December, 2020, while it suspended that of COSON since 2018.

Meanwhile, COSON once warned the general public not to seek any license for the use of any musical works or sound recordings in the repertoire of COSON from the MCSN.

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Ojelabi, the publisher of Freelanews, is a professionally trained mass communicator, who writes ruthlessly about pop culture, religion, politics and entertainment.

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