In its capacity as the trade union responsible for the welfare of musicians in Nigeria, Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has stated its position on the long-drawn COSON crisis.
“While Nigerian right holders continue to suffer losses, COSON has deployed myriad tactics in a desperate attempt to dodge the independent audit mandated by the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) and other key stakeholders in the Music industry, while still operating and parading itself illegally as a Licensed CMO,” he alleged.
“COSON has chosen the deployment of tens of millions of right holders’ royalties to fund countless frivolous and vexatious lawsuits over compliance to the directives of its regulator.
PMAN, as a founding pillar of COSON and key promoter of the interest of Nigeria musicians has in time past, called on Okoroji to summon the courage to face the probe and allow the independent audit vindicate him and his fellow accused officers of the society. A recent report from auditing firm KPMG revealed that COSON collected over N1.1 Billion in Royalty and Licensing Fees from Users in 2017, but claimed it only distributed N225 million to Holders, while over N800 Million is unaccounted for, this is totally unacceptable.
Furthermore , COSON has chosen to continuously defy the directives of its Regulator and has resorted to the illegal act of demanding payment of royalties from users without a valid License, in some cases users were threatened with frivolous lawsuits if they used musical works in its repertoire.
These desperate antics and twisted logic provide terrible optics for the entire industry, particularly at a time when Nigerian music is gaining global mainstream penetration.
PMAN is in possession of material evidence of COSON’s illegal payment request from Users of Copyright works , and will forward same to the relevant security Agency momentarily, demanding the arrest and prosecution of all persons connected to the criminal conspiracy to operate without a valid license and the illegal diversion of Right Holders dues and Royalty accrued from the usage of their musical works.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of PMAN hereby call on the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) , in protection of rights holders, to immediately effectuate the “REVOCATION” of COSON’s operating License .
The commission will do well also to remind all stakeholders that it remains a criminal offence to operate as a collective management organisation in Nigeria without a valid licence.
PMAN President , Pretty Okafor is currently engaging all stakeholders in the music Industry to align the industry’s resolve on how to deal with the aftermath of the Revocation of COSON’s License.
By: Aduloju Daniel