Nigeria’s copyright society wants commercial users of musical works to pay their dues.
The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) on Tuesday re-stated its resolve to take legal actions against commercial music users who continue to infringe on the copyright of music owners.
The general manager of COSON, Chinedu Chukwuji, said in Abuja that the society is ready to hold negotiations and discussions with music users. He added that music users who operate hotels, parks and gardens, night clubs, event centres, cinemas, among others have remained stubborn and have continued to use music freely as if it were their property.
Mr. Chukwuji stated that under Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) law, every commercial music user is expected to get a license from the owners of musical works before they can perform such music in public places.
In 2010, the NCC set up COSON as the sole collective management organisation to promote and protect the copyright of practitioners in the Nigerian music industry. Mr. Chukwuji said the society is always ready to encourage people to pay royalties through negotiations and discussions, but when that fails, legal actions would be taken.
“We try to give people room to comply, we are not an unreasonable organisation,” he said.
“Although there have been some level of compliance, some people feel that all the effort we make is temporary and so they refuse to obey the law,” he added.
The society in July dropped the suit it filed against Wazobia FM for illegal broadcast of music by its members and affiliates after a royalty agreement was signed.
A suit, No FHC/ABJ/C5/503/2012, pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja, was filed by COSON against Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The society is demanding the payment of more than N3 billion for the unauthorised copying and communication to the public of musical works belonging to its members.