COSON accused First Bank of illegal use of members’ works at Calabar Festival
The Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, has filed a N700 million law suit against First Bank Plc for alleged copyright infringement.
The suit was instituted on Monday, April 14, on behalf of COSON by Lagos lawyer, Justin Ige of Creative Legal, Seun Omotoba & Co.
In the suit No. FHC/CS/L/530/2014, COSON pleaded in the 29 paragraph Statement of Claim that First Bank Plc did not apply for or secure a license or any authorisation whatsoever before “exploiting, communicating to the public, publishing and deploying the musical works and sound recordings of its members and assignors as included in, reproduced and contained in the Sights and Sounds of Carnival Calabar and deployed by First Bank Plc in its marketing, promotion and advertising.”
Speaking on the development, COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji, said, ‘Let it be heard loud and clear that COSON is determined to sanitise the copyright environment in Nigeria. No one is too big or too small to abide by the law. A lot of young Nigerians are investing their talents, time and money in creating the music which is making Nigeria famous across the world and they deserve to be respected. For anyone to exploit their creative ingenuity, the person must get appropriate permission.
“If a musician takes a loan from a bank without paying back, the bank will chase the musician to the ends of the world to recover the loan. What right does a bank have to use the property of the musician without payment or authorization?’’
COSON is currently at a round table discussion with members of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigerian and Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria over royalty payment.