The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), on October 8th, 2018, filed a criminal charge against the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji and chief officers for carrying out the duties of a collecting society without the NCC’s authorization.
In a statement by NCC Director General, Afam Ezekude, the officers were accused of demanding and collecting royalties from Noah’s Ark of 9 Sowemimo Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos as well as carrying on the business of negotiating and granting licenses on behalf of copyright owners without the NCC’s approval.
COSON was in May 2010 authorized by the NCC to operate as a Collective Management Organization for Music and Sound recording, pursuant to the NCC’s power conferred by Nigerian Copyright Act 2004 (the Act) and the provisions of the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2007. On April 30th, 2018, COSON’s operating license was however suspended by the NCC following COSON’s refusal to comply with the NCC’s directives regarding issues stemming from the dispute between members of the COSON Board and one that concerns the internal workings of COSON. COSON’s insistence on continuing its activities despite the suspension was thus a contravention of the Act.
The Director General of the NCC reassured copyright owners that its duty is to ensure a transparent and accountable system of collective management to enable rights holders to receive the royalties without being short-changed. He concluded his statement by encouraging users, when obtaining copyright licenses, to ensure that the licensor is duly authorized.
The contents of this news alert are meant for the general information of our clients and friends and do not amount to legal advice. All enquiries on the subject may be made to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun
9th Floor, St. Nicholas House, Catholic Mission Street, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Telephone: +234 (1) 462 2094; 462 2480; 740 6743 Fax: +234 (1) 461 3140