Intellectual Property: COSON, MCSN Fight Over Copyright Management

Few weeks after the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria popularly known as MCSN announced an approval to operate as a copyright management organisation in Nigeria, its fierce rival, the Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON is challenging the legality of the said approval.

COSON, which has been operating as the sole copyright management ogarnisation in Nigeria since 2010, maintains that operating multiple royalty collecting bodies in a country could lead to chaos.

“Those who know the industry know that the approval of multiple collecting societies is an invitation to chaos, unending disputes, poor royalty collection and poverty in the music industry,” COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji, said at a press conference.

Meanwhile, a delighted MCSN believes this would only create a competitive atmosphere.

MCSN Chairman Orits Wiliki said the belief that multiple copyright societies won’t work was “the assumption of people who do not know how it works and those who want to hide under certain umbrellas to say certain things”.

He added, “In America you have over six societies, how are they operating? In the UK you have over six; how are they operating? In France you have over 15, how are they operating? In Canada you have over 25; how are they operating?

“So, it’s simply what you use that you pay for. If I don’t use your work, then you have no right to come to me to ask for any payment.”

Wiliki said it was important for people who use musical content to technologically document whatever work they use to ensure they can provide proof of what was used and what wasn’t.

Okoroji, however, claimed MCSN had yet to fulfill the Nigerian Communication Commission’s application requirement, so an approval from the office of the attorney general of the federation alone meant its operations were illegal.

He said, “Section 39 (3) of the Copyright Act states as follows: The commission shall not approve another society in respect of any class of copyright owners if it is certified that an existing copyright society adequately protects the interest of that class of copyright owners.

“The operative words here are ‘shall not’. The question here is that ‘who made the determination that the existing collecting society, COSON, does not adequately protect the copyright interests of the class that it represents and when was that determination made?”

Wiliki, however, said, “People misinterpreted the provisions of that section to suit their own hidden agenda. The Copyright Act is very clear in that Section 39 that they are harping on.”

He stressed that the Copyright Act never encouraged monopoly or asked the NCC to protect a monopoly.

“Section 39 actually said you may not approve another society for the same class of work if the existing one satisfy everybody. So you can see it’s discretionary and not rigid. People choose to interpret it to suit their agenda,” he said.

As the copyright controversy which has been on for many years between these two organisations continues, the ricochet effect on the Nigerian artistes is gradually becoming obvious.

Shizzi Accuses Tunde Ednut, Masterkraft Of Jacking ‘Kosowo’

Tunde EdnutPopular music producer, Shizzi has accused singer, Tunde Ednut and producer Masterkraft of infringing on his intellectual property by using his instrumental on their newly released track titled Kosowo.

The matter has been taken up legally as lawyers representing Shizzi have served Tunde Ednut as well as popular Masterkraft a letter, threatening a suit.

The letter, which has been made available to Entertainment News on Channels TV, alleges that the instrumental for Kosowo was created in 2014 by Shizzi and that the instrumental was initially given to an unnamed A-list artiste, even though the project was pended after a few studio sessions.

Shizzi also claims Tunde Ednut released the song with the lyrical content of the A-list artiste playing a dominant role and is now demanding the song and newly released video titled be removed from all websites and social media.

Entertainment News reached out to Tunde Ednut, who said “write anything you want to but I have not copied anybody. If you want anything, ask Wande Coal, because he is the owner of the song.”

In a swift reaction, a representative of Wande Coal, Henry, confirmed to Entertainment News that the Black Diamond singer is the un-named A-list artiste in Shizzi’s letter.

“I know Shizzi produced the track for Wande and Tunde just came to our studio, heard it and just ran with it. It was Tunde who f***ed up and we are trying to clear this mess now”.

He added, “Last year, Tunde Ednut came to our studio and Wande Coal played different unfinished songs that he was working on for him.

“Wande never gave him Kosowo because he was still working on it with Shizzi. It was a surprise when we heard it on NOTJUSTOK.

“We’ve been calling him to come but he has refused. We never gave him the rights to the song because Wande still hopes to complete the song with Shizzi and release at a later date.”

Tunde Ednut has however gone ahead to release a music video for the controversial song.

Below is the letter from Shizzi’s lawyers and the newly released ‘Kosowo’ video.

Tunde-Ednut-Shizzi-letter Tunde-Ednut-Shizzi-letter-2