Posted by News Express | 19 June 2020 | 818 times
By SUNNY OKIM
The Nigerian copyright system, albeit the entire creative industry, is fully on reset to deliver the expected benefits and prosperity to creators of intellectual works and to contribute its own quota to the nation's economy.
This much was disclosed on Thursday by the chief executive officer of the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria Limited(MCSN), Mr Mayowa Ayilarun, during a zoom press briefing.
Ayilarun said, in order to achieve this feat, MCSN with the support of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), shall take the first major step through a major project of deploying the desired technology in the administration of licensing, tracking, monitoring, collection and distribution of royalties in the coming few days.
The MCSN boss was all praises to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) who he said intervened to ensure that MCSN was recognised by the federal government as a collecting society or Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for the nation's creative industry.
"We however remain eternally grateful to God and Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who at a point intervened and directed that the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) should grant MCSN approval to operate as a collecting society or Collective Management Organisation (CMO) and cease all forms of litigation between MCSN and the NCC.
“It must be underscored that the intervention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was based on the concurrent findings of his investigation of the issues between NCC and MCSN and the Investigative Public Hearing of the Joint Committees of the National Assembly and Resolutions passed by the both chambers of the National Assembly on 18 December 2013 on the vexed issue of the unjust denial of approval to MCSN to operate as a collecting society or CMO.
"This intervention by the Honourable Minister saved the Nigerian copyright system, from serious constitutional, statutory and regulatory logjam and mitigated certain injuries,” Ayilarun stated.
He said the past legal orders made in favour of MCSN as well as the cooperation of the AGF, NCC and NASS, the Nigerian creative industry is in for a better royalty collection and distribution for Nigerian artistes.
The MCSN boss cited some court judgments which placed his organisation as the authentic collecting society.
One of such judgments was that delivered on March 25, 2020 by the Federal High Court which directed the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to strike out the name of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) from the companies register in Nigeria.
This judgment, said Ayilarun, automatically placed the responsibility of royalty management in the country on MCSN as COSON has seized to exist in the eye of the law.
"In Suit No. FHC/L/CS/274/2010: Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte vs. Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd/Gte & Ors delivered on 25th March 2020, the Federal High Court described the approval and registration of COSON as an anomaly and ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to strike out the name of COSON from the Companies’ Register in Nigeria.
"Both the National Assembly Resolutions and the Directive of the Honourable Minister underscored the underhand and inexplicable denial of approval to MCSN by the NCC," he asserted.
Referring to some court judgments, he said, "With all the decisions and the good relationship established between MCSN and NCC through the intervention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who is the supervisory minister in charge of copyright as confirmed by the courts of law, the NCC and MCSN now have the great opportunity to create the desired harmonious relationship in the administration and enforcement of copyright in Nigeria by working to harmonise the collective management of copyright in the country."
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