The Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, has requested the leaderships of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, and Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria, IBAN, to compel their members to act responsibly and meet their obligations under the COSON/BON/IBAN/NBC/NCC music copyright agreement signed in May 2014 without further delay.
Speaking during the No Music Day activities at the Board Room of COSON on September 1, COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji, said, “Sadly, we must draw the attention of the nation to the fact that despite the substantially reduced tariffs and the public pledge of the broadcasting industry to keep to the terms of the COSON/BON/IBAN/NBC/NCC agreement, a good number of the broadcasting stations in the country are still deploying music without paying the very low royalty tariffs negotiated on their behalf with the help of the NBC and NCC. COSON is therefore constrained to call on the leaderships of both BON and IBAN to compel their members to act responsibly and meet their obligations without further delay”.
Flanked by other leaders of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition and a number of COSON lawyers, Mr. Okoroji said, “We wish to make it clear that COSON is resolved to protect the rights of music industry practitioners and to collect copyright royalties for the use of their music and sound recordings in Nigeria. That resolve is rock solid. We will not waver and there will be no sacred cows. If we need to go back to the courts, we will. If we need to take other actions, we will. We wish to repeat that it is far cheaper to obtain a COSON licence for the music used by anyone than to engage COSON in an expensive legal process”.
Mr. Okoroji also called on the National and State Assemblies to ensure that clear provisions are made in the budgets of the different government owned broadcast stations for the payment of copyright royalties saying: “We refuse to accept a situation where the stations continue with the open stealing of the intellectual property of innocent creative people simply because ‘there is no budget’ for the payment for the key raw material they deploy in their operations.”
The COSON Chairman also requested the leaderships of the Hotel & Personal Services Employers Association of Nigeria, HOPESEA, and Hotel Owners Forum Abuja, HOFA, to direct each and every one of their members to immediately respect the agreement which they freely entered into with COSON.
Commenting on the recently launched ‘Operation No Hiding Place’ coordinated by COSON, the former President of PMAN said that there will be no hiding place in Nigeria for any person or organisation intent on continuing with the abuse of the intellectual property rights of innocent citizens.
He declared, “COSON is determined to substantially increase the royalty distributable to stakeholders in the music industry to match the massive use of music in our nation. That is why in 2013 COSON was compelled to institute several multi billion Naira law suits against some users of music and sound recordings in Nigeria. We are very ready to go the full hog and let the chips fall where they may.”