The full Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s sole approved collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings held a strategic meeting on Tuesday, July 16 in Lagos at which several critical decisions were taken.
Rising from the meeting which took place at the Board room of the society in Opebi, Ikeja, a key member of the Board, Mr. Efe Omorogbe said, “we reviewed the compliance level with respect to music copyright royalty payments in Nigeria and came to the conclusion that while there are several users who have shown that they want to play by the rules, there are those who are playing games. They erroneously believe that they can conspire, delay and successfully confront COSON and continue the era of free music. They are badly mistaken and clearly do not understand the passion, total determination and zeal that drives the work of COSON.”
Mr. Omorogbe, CEO of Nowmuzik and manager of several top Nigerian artistes such as 2Face Idibia, J. Martins, Sheyi Shay, Tunde & Wunmi Obe, Sunny Neji, etc., went on to say, “those who are ready to work with COSON will find out that we are very reasonable and friendly. I however assure those who want a fight that they will badly regret the day they decided to engage COSON in a fight.”
Another member of the Board, Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, National President, Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN) said “the Board has instructed that we immediately begin a nationwide mobilization of the members and supporters of COSON for a historic show down with those who have shown no respect for the law and the rights of musicians and investors in the music industry. If they think we are joking, they will be shocked. We will implement the directive of the Board to the letter. There will be no retreat and no surrender.”
Speaking after the meeting, star artiste and COSON Board member, Azeezat Allen said, ‘the Board identified some in the broadcast industry who believe that they can employ divide and rule tactics and break the unity of the music industry. They obviously do not understand that this is a revolution. COSON has revealed to Nigerian musicians what is possible. The rapid growth of COSON has shown that we can successfully run a positive, professional, transparent and accountable organization in our industry. I know some musicians who have received over a million naira each as royalty from COSON in the last six months. Before COSON, they were getting nothing. This is therefore personal. Nobody wants to go back to the days of old. Those who may have decided to fight COSON surely miscalculated.”
At the meeting, the Board thanked the thousands of Nigerians and persons from other lands who participated in the historic events of the COSON Week. The society’s Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji and Chairman of the Board of the COSON Music Foundation, Evangelist (Dr.) Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi were commended for the exemplary leadership that successfully drove the seven historic events. The Board also singled out for special commendation, the Nigerian media and the many partners of COSON who successfully made COSON Week talk of the nation. It was also decided that arrangements be made to widely broadcast some of the events so that those who may have missed them can enjoy the thrills and frills of the unforgettable COSON Week.
Amongst the several other decisions taken by the Board was the convocation of one day digital licensing summit under the banner of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition to critically assess the digital exploitations of musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria.