The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has said that the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) lacks the authority under the Nigerian laws to proclaim or empower the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) as the sole Collective Management Organisation (CMO).
COSON’s reaction came days after the NCC declared that the MCSN is the only body empowered by government to be the CMO of the Nigerian music industry.
In a statement signed and issued on Monday by its General Manager, Bernice Eriemeghe Ashibogwu, COSON pointed out that Nigeria was a democracy and not an autocracy or a dictatorship and that the NCC was not a court of law and could not rule or pass judgment on any matter that was sub-judice.
“COSON unequivocally states that the NCC has no powers under Nigerian law to make such a proclamation or empowerment under the circumstances.
“COSON strongly states that Nigeria is a democracy and not an autocracy or a dictatorship and that the NCC is not a court of law and cannot rule or pass judgment on any matter that is sub-judice. In other words, MCSN has won nothing,” the statement partly read.
COSON said it continues to operate lawfully and at no time has it ceded the rights to license any of the millions of musical works and sound recordings lawfully assigned to it to the controversial MCSN whose purported approval was still being stoutly challenged in court.
It insisted that no one, including the NCC was empowered by law to authorise MCSN to license works in the COSON repertoire which are property belonging to innocent citizens recognised as such by the Nigerian Constitution.