The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has declared that the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) is the only society empowered by the regulatory agency to be the Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for the Nigerian music industry.
There has been a lingering battle between the MCSN and Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) over which of the bodies is legally empowered as CMO.
Director-General of NCC, Dr. John Asein, who made this clarification during the week in Lagos, said this had become necessary, so as to put to rest the lingering issue of which of the two societies is empowered by NCC to collect royalties on behalf of the musical artists.
Speaking at a meeting of the Board of Trustees of MCSN, which was held in its Ikeja, Lagos office to re-elect reggae star, Orits Williki, as the BoT Chairman of the society, Asein noted that there is only one approved collecting society for all the genres of music in the country.
According to the him, there is need to address the matter, as the commission is currently inundated with complaints and calls from copyright users, in respect of which of the two should be recognised as a collecting society.
“In Nigeria today, there is only one approved collecting society for all the genres of music, no other one. If you see any organisation on the street claiming to be a collecting society for the music industry, tell that organisation it’s not true. That’s the position of the law as far as NCC, which has the approving power, is concerned.
“I want you to spread this news because a lot of confusion on the streets; and it’s even robbing the commission.
“The confusion has to be addressed. We can’t continue like this. We receive letters, calls everyday. People are confused, even when the genuine collecting society is making demands, they don’t trust them because they don’t know who to pay.
“So, we need to educate members of the public on this issue, so that we can move forward. No one is quarreling with anybody but we are only stating what the law says,” Asein said.