Here we go again!
The Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN) has filed Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1172/17 at the Federal High Court in Lagos, against the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji.
MCSN is seeking a number of remedies including an accounting of the royalties collected by COSON on behalf of members of MCSN members going as far back at 2010.
MCSN is also asking the court for an order compelling COSON and its predecessor in title to account for all funds collected on behalf of its assignors, exclusive licensors and affiliates as well as money collected for the exploitation of its repertoire since 2010.
According to the documents filed on behalf of MCSN, the Collective Management Organisation (CMO) would like the court to issue an order directing COSON to avail, furnish, and deliver to it, a detailed account of royalties collected by the defendants.
It would be recalled that in April, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, directed that the Nigerian Copyright Commission grant MCSN its licence to operate as CMO in Nigeria. As a result, MCSN is also seeking for an order of a perpetual injunction, restraining COSON, Chief Okoroji, their agents, assigns, servants, and anyone howsoever described from tampering with, licensing, collecting royalties on or dealing with musical works, sound recording and other ancillary works or rights in the repertoire of MCSN.
The Chairman of the board of MCSN, Orits Williki, is reported to have stated that MCSN is before the court to ensure that the best practices in copyright administration are done in Nigeria in line with what obtains all over the world.
“You cannot claim you are a sole monopoly and you go about collecting money on people’s behalf, pocket the money and refuse to render account. That’s pure lawlessness and corruption. MCSN believes in the rule of law that is why we’re in court to demand for every penny due to our members and on our repertoire.”
The case is currently pending.