Law

We’re in court with COSON for our members’ entitlements – MCSN CEO

Chief Executive Officer of the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) Ltd/Gte, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, has disclosed that the organization’s legal dispute with the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) is aimed at getting back what rightly belong to its members.

 

He made the disclosure at an event to present MCSN membership certificate to a singer and social activist, Onyeka Onwenu. “The class suit against COSON is to ensure accountability for every money that has been collected on behalf of our members.

 

At the end of the day, we believed that everyone who has one entitlement or the other with COSON will have a cause to smile”, Ayilaran said. He also expressed his joy about Onwenu’s decision to rejoin MCSN, saying her return to the fold is long-overdue.

“Today is one of my happiest moments. Our sister is back to where she belongs. Onyeka Onwenu is one of the founding mothers of today’s Nigeria Music Industry. She was and is a founding member of MCSN.

“When MCSN was at the founding stage, when we were trying to understand the collection society, she was ably present with us. It brings so much pleasure to have her back on board today”, Ayilaran said. In her speech at the event, Onwenu, a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture, lamented the hardship being faced by artists in the music industry.

She highlighted her unpalatable experiences while at COSON, saying since 2011, the society did not pay her a dime, despite collecting billions of money on her behalf for her works. She also berated the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for not doing enough to protect the rights of artists, saying it’s time for the Commission to rise up to the occasion.

Her words: I am honoured to be here this morning. This is a very special day. I should have been here earlier, but some of us felt that we could still correct things that are going on in COSON.

 

When you see some of us that you listen to our music, you automatically think we are rich because we are famous. Of course, we are rich, but quite often, it is not so. “Right from the beginning, we have been fighting for our rights. At a time, pirating was a civil, not criminal offence.

Now, how does someone tell me that since 2011, at age 70 and over 40 years in the music industry, COSON has not paid me a dime, despite collecting billions of money on my behalf for my works. Even before that 2011, how much did COSON give somebody like me?

 

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