General Manager, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chinedu Chukwuji has stated that the recent legal action instituted by the society against Daar Communications Plc, owners of RayPower FM, Faaji FM and AIT had been long overdue. He said the steps were necessary to put an end to the continuous abuse of Nigerian musicians’ rights by organisations that have over the years simply used Nigerian music for their corporate gains at the expense of those who make the music.According to him, the lawsuits came after all manner of moral suasion had been deployed by COSON to get defaulting users to comply with the law but to no avail. COSON, he further warned, will not relent in its effort to bring to justice errant copyright infringers as no one or organization is above the law. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>
Chukwuji said ‘COSON, you must understand does not enjoy taking every matter to court. We use every diplomatic measure possible to ensure that we dialogue rather than go to court. In our usual manner, we tried every means to reach a common ground with the management of DAAR Communications but it appeared they would rather have a battle than dialogue. We tried this same move last year but it seemed not to have worked, hence the numerous law suits you witnessed last year”
Continuing, the COSON boss said “It appears that some organisations have allowed themselves to be misled by some people who have told them that they can tackle COSON. I do not know how they intend to tackle COSON. We have the law solidly behind us. The COSON membership includes practically every major artiste in Nigeria today and the activities of COSON enjoy their full support. We also have the unshakable support of the international copyright community from every continent on the globe. We know what our task is and we are 100% committed to doing it
‘COSON has erected a firewall against anyone intent on pauperizing Nigerian musicians. Those who have tried ‘Divide and Rule’ tactics by encouraging a gang unknown to law to pose as a CMO have only succeeded in buying a one way ticket for members of the gang to go to jail. Anyone who wants to join them is welcome. Let me say it loud that COSON is not joking. Nobody will be spared. Nobody is above the law and as such everyone found to be infringing copyright with regards to musical works and sound recordings will be brought to book.
‘I even heard that someone had been encouraging those who have legally binding contracts with COSON to abdicate the contracts. I ‘dey’ laugh as that will be a most foolish thing to do with severe consequences’.
It will be recalled that COSON recently filed a Ten Billion naira copyright infringement action against Daar Communications Plc, Nigeria’s biggest privately owned broadcast network which operates stations such as Ray Power FM, Faaji FM and Africa Independent Television (AIT) scattered all over Nigeria. The suit No. FHC/L/CS/1392/13 filed on October 7, 2013 on behalf of COSON at the Federal High Court, Lagos by crack Intellectual Property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige, is the biggest known copyright infringement action ever in the African continent.
In the action, COSON is asking for the sum of N724, 500, 000. 00 (Seven Hundred and Twenty Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) being amount due as royalties or license fees.
COSON is also asking for general and exemplary damages and a perpetual injunction restraining Ray Power FM, Faaji FM and Africa Independent Television (AIT) managed by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, their agents, privies or servants from further or other unauthorized copying, broadcast of musical works or sound recordings belonging to the members, affiliates and assignors of COSON and/or infringement of the copyright in the musical works or sound recordings belonging to the members, affiliates and assignors of COSON.