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BON, CONSON face-off: We ‘ll not sacrifice the interest of the music industry —Okoroji

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BENJAMIN NJOKU

The Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Tony Okoroji has said that the representatives of COSON in the on-going NBC/NCC/COSON/BON/IBAN joint committee will not sacrifice the interest of the music industry.

 Tony-okorojiAddressing members of the COSON management at a meeting during the week, Chief Okoroji said, “We understand the historic nature of the on-going negotiations.

In the interest of the country, we are willing to bend backwards where it is necessary and compromise where we consider it appropriate but we will not under any circumstance sacrifice the interest of members of COSON or the right owners in the various countries around the globe who have mandated COSON to manage their rights.

You have my word that we will not sacrifice the interest of the music industry in Nigeria.”

According to Okoroji, ‘COSON is not interested in distributing pittance to our stakeholders as copyright royalties. Music is intellectual property with substantial value.

Those who want it should be ready to pay for it. Our industry must show in its returns the fact that by far, we are the most active in the continent. We cannot say that we are the first and then we are behaving like the last.”

On January 9, 2014, the National Broadcasting Commission published a major pronouncement in reaction to the COSON, BON/IBAN conflict and set up the NBC/NCC/COSON/BON/IBAN Joint Committee to review copyright royalty tariffs with respect to broadcast of musical works and sound recordings and to ensure that the royalties paid by broadcast stations in Nigeria are fair, reasonable and in accordance with prevailing standards. The joint committee was inaugurated in Lagos on February 24, 2014.

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