The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) says it has suspended the Operating License of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as a Collective Management Organisation for music and sound recordings in Nigeria.
The commission disclosed this in Statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Ijeoma Egbunike,and made available to Newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
According to the statement, the suspension is to enable the Commission undertake necessary compliance checks on COSON in line with relevant provisions of the Copyright (Collective Management Organisations) Regulations 2007.
“COSON is henceforth suspended from negotiating and granting copyright licences, collecting royalties on behalf of Copyright owners, or otherwise performing any functions of a Collective Management Organisation, except otherwise directed by the Commission.
“The Directive became necessary in view of the need to safeguard funds belonging to owners of Copyright in Music and Sound Recordings, whose works are administered by COSON.
“The Director-General of NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude noted that the suspension is a follow-up to the continued failure and/or refusals of COSON to carry out the directives of the Commission.
“The General Manager of COSON has been directed to forward to the Director-General, NCC, within 7 days, details of all bank accounts operated by COSON,”the statement reads.
Egbunike recalled that the Commission had received a petition from some members of the Governing Board of COSON, requesting the Commission to intervene and investigate decisions from its Extra Ordinary General Meeting.
“After due consideration of the petition, the Commission issued directives to the Management of COSON, not to implement certain decisions irregularly taken at the extraordinary General Meeting held on December 19, 2017.
“Those decisions were ostensibly in breach of statutory provisions and regulations guiding the operations of COSON ,for which its managemnet did not comply.
“This underminds the efficient administration of COSON to the utter disadvantage of authors and right owners in Music Industry.
“The continuing defiance of COSON Management to the directive of the Commission is a clear indication of its unwillingness to operate within the framework of the Copyright Act and Regulations for which there are clear consequences and sanctions.COSON is the sole collective management organisation (CMO) approved by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
It acts on behalf of authors, composers, performers, publishers of musical works and owners of sound recordings in Nigeria.