Music and Entertainment

Nigeria: NCC Suspends Operating License Of COSON Over Breach Of Regulation

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has withdrawn the operating license of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as a Collective Management organisation for music and sound recordings in the country.

The decision of the commission to suspend COSON is under the provision of Regulation 19 (2) of the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulation 2007

The Director-General, NCC, Mr Afam Ezekude, who stated in a document that the suspension is a follow-up to the continued failure of COSON to carry out the directives of the Commission issued in its letter dated February 19, 2018.

According to the letter, COSON should henceforth desist from negotiating and granting Copyright Licences, collecting Royalties on behalf of Copyright owners, or performing any functions as Collective Management Organization, except otherwise stated by the Commission.

NCC in a separate letter on May 3, 2018, also directed the Management of COSON to refrain from spending from COSON funds, during the suspension, except for purposes of meeting personnel allowance. Other expenses, however,  must be made after securing approval from the Director-General of the Commission. The General Manager, COSON has been directed to forward to the Director-General, NCC, within seven days, details of all bank accounts that are operated by COSON.

 It would be recalled that earlier in the year, the Commission received an appeal from members of COSON's Governing Board requesting the NCC to intervene and investigate what happened the Extra Ordinary General Meeting held December 19, 2017.

Upon consideration of the appeal, the Commission issued directives to the Management of COSON, not to carry out specific decisions irregularly taken at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on December 19, 2017, which were apparently in breach of statutory provisions and regulations of the operations of COSON.

Following the issuance of the instruction by the NCC, a letter dated February 23, 2018, which was signed by the General Manager of COSON, indicated the unwillingness of Management of COSON to adhere to the directive of the Commission.

The Commission has therefore advised Management of COSON to take necessary steps to comply with the directives of the Commission because failing will cause further sanctions to be imposed on it under the provisions of the law.

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