The Federal Government, Wednesday, wielded the big stick against the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, MCSN, over some of the latter’s illegal activities.
A statement issued by the Public Affairs Department of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, Nseabasi Unagwu, said the action became necessary to forestall the activities of MCSN, such as granting of fraudulent licenses for the usage of musical and film works.
The NCC Director of Enforcement, Augustine Amodu, said “prior to the raid, the Commission had conducted a preliminary investigation on the activities of MCSN to determine whether they were carrying out the functions of a collecting society.”
“The preliminary investigation showed that they were illegally granting license for usage of musical and film works as well as collecting royalties from people they granted license to use these works, and were purportedly distributing royalties to those they chose,” the commission said.
Mr. Amodu stated that the only collecting society approved for music and sound recording by NCC is the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON. He added that five officers of MCSN, namely Olakayode Ajayi, Halim Mohammed, Njoku Gladys, Yusuf Adoji and Banjo Bilqis, were arrested during the raid.
“The General Manager, Licensing, of MCSN, Mr. Loius Udoh escaped from lawful custody while the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, is still at large. Some documents and computers used to carry out the illegal activities were seized during the raid,” Mr. Amodu said.
This latest move puts to rest the controversy which has been rife within and outside the music industry regarding the real status of MSCN as a collective management organization.