In a move putting a lie to the subtle campaign in certain quarters and affirming the progressive direction and development of collective administration of copyright in Nigeria, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has granted to the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) the renewal of its approval or licence to continue to operate as a Collective Management Organisation (CMO) in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act, Cap C.28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisation) Regulations 2007. The renewal of MCSN’s approval to continue to operate as a CMO or collecting society for musical works and sound recordings was conveyed by a letter dated 22nd December 2020 from the NCC.

It would be recalled that a rival organisation, whose approval to operate as a CMO was suspended in 2018 and which subsequently expired altogether without renewal or re-approval has gone on an overdrive, campaigning that the licence of MCSN to operate as a CMO has expired. Also certain powerful user organisations which rely heavily on the exploitation of copyright materials, particularly musical works and sound recordings, had joined in the campaign, refusing to respect the laws of copyright in Nigeria or pay appropriate copyright royalties and fees, and even disobeying the ones adjudged and imposed by competent courts of jurisdiction in Nigeria.

With the renewal of MCSN’s approval or licence to operate as a CMO in addition to its being the largest owner, assignee and exclusive licensee of copyright in musical works and sound recordings within the provisions of the relevant sections of the Copyright Act 2004 as interpreted and affirmed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Nigerian creators of intellectual property and their counterparts around the world are full of expectations of great rewards for their creativity coming out of Nigeria.

On its part, the NCC has given assurances that henceforth, it would give teeth to the provisions of the Copyright Act in the sphere of enforcement to ensure that anyone exploiting copyright protected works in any form prescribed by the laws is made to fully comply with the law by obtaining and paying adequate compensation for the exploited works or rights. The Commission also assures that no rogue CMO would be allowed any space within the Nigerian copyright system.

Reacting to the development, MCSN expresses its deep appreciation to the Director General of the NCC, Mr. John Ohi Asein, the Governing Board, Management and entire staff of the Commission for the grant of the renewal of its approval to operate as a CMO and the assurances given by the NCC for a transformed copyright landscape to create prosperity for owners and holders of copyright and other stakeholders. MCSN has thrown its doors wide open for all creators of musical works, sound recordings and other genres of copyright interests for a robust and harmonious engagement for the realisation of the greater goal of creating prosperity for all.

MCSN assures everyone in the sector, both creators and users, that there would be a fair deal for all, while the issue of playing by the rule would not be taken lightly; as there would no longer be room for playing one group or interest against the other as has been done in the past by certain powerful users and holders of copyright works and interest.

MCSN sends its best wishes to all for the New Year 2021.

MCSN’s Corporate Communications.

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