PMAN says artistes have right to choose the royalty collecting agency to join.
A body of performing musicians has asked Nigerian broadcasters not to pay royalty to musicians or a collecting agency until existing controversies are resolved.
The Performing Musician Association of Nigeria, PMAN, asked the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, IBAN, not to pay the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, or its members, royalty until the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, has registered the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, MCSN.
A statement signed by PMAN’s caretaker committee chairman, Kevin Gabriel, called on NCC to obey the directive of the National Assembly in its Votes & Procedures of December 18, 2013 and legalise MSCN.
“The issue of collective management is confronting the industry right now. While the NCC is paying deaf ears and imposing only one society on Nigerian music makers and stakeholders, the National Assembly has directed the NCC to at once give due recognition to MCSN since Nigerian law does not provide for monopoly in the business of collective administration.
“It is sad that the NCC has refused to carry out this directive. Our investigations reveal that there is a cabal within the top echelon of the NCC, which is using the only approved society, Copyright Society of Nigerian, COSON, to continue to exploit Nigerian musicians,” Mr. Gabriel said.
He also called on the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, to step into the matter and find a solution.
“We believe the Honorable Attorney General has a primary duty to advance and protect the fundamental human and constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens as guaranteed by the constitution. We therefore call on the Attorney General to step in and correct this since he has the powers under the copyright Act to direct the NCC to carry out the directive of the National Assembly immediately.
“We want to warn here that BON and IBAN vis-à-vis their members should not negotiate or pay any royalty to COSON until the NCC carries out the directive of the national assembly as contained in its Votes and Procedures of December 18, 2013. Nigerian musicians have the constitutional right to choose which organisation or person to affiliate with like other Nigerians. This exploitation must stop!” the PMAN boss said.
PMAN noted that it in a matter of days, it would be following up this statement with appropriate actions to ensure a better environment for music practitioners in Nigeria.
In the last six months, BON/IBAN has been at loggerheads with COSON over payment of royalty to musicians. In December, the tussle culminated in an airplay ban of top music artistes such as Tuface Idibia, Dbanj, and MI.