Chairman of the Board of the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN), Mr. Orits Williki, has disclosed that sequel to a subsisting court’s judgement, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) does not exist in law. He made the disclosure while responding to questions about the legality of COSON’s operations at a press conference upon his re-election as the Chairman of the MCSN Board.
According to Williki, the implication of the court’s judgement is that whatsoever has been done by, to or with anyone under the name of COSON remains null, void and of no effect.
He said: “By the judgement of Honourable Justice Saidu of the Federal High Court in suit number FHC/ CS/L/274/2010 between Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte vs. Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd/Gte & Ors, delivered on March 25, 2020, the court ordered that the name, “Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd/Gte” be struck off the register of companies in Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The implication of the judgement is that COSON does not exist in law ‘ab-initio’. That judgement is subsisting.
“By the provisions of Section 39 of the Copyright Act 2004, COSON is not a collective management organization known to law as it does not hold the approval or license of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
“COSON came into existence and began operations sometimes in 2010 (6 years after the coming into force of the Copyright Act, 2004), its composition and operations for the provisions of Sections 17 and 39 (8) of the Copyright Act (Cap. C.28 LFN) 2004.
Since it lacks the approval of the NCC, COSON can- not operate as collective management organization”.
While acknowledging the efforts of NCC in getting the rights of creators of intellectual works respected in all fields protected by law, Williki urged the commission to speed up efforts at ending all infractions being committed against the provisions of the Copyright Act 2004 and all other extant laws of the land. In his speech at the occasion, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCSN,
Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, said the immediate focus of Williki should be on how to increase royalty collections from users of musical works and sound recordings across the country.
“He should also ensure seamless cooperation and strategic partnership with relevant agencies, organizations and groups across all sectors in the country. He is also to ensure that the respect for copyright and the relevant rewards are vigorously pursued”, Ayilaran added.