The Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), has assured its members and the general public of the collaboration with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), to effectively confront infringers of copyright in Nigeria.
The umbrella body of Nigerian musicians also urged organisations that use musical works and sound recordings in their daily business operations to pay royalties to NCC licensed collective management organization (CMO).
In a public statement issued by the association on copyright and collection of royalties in Nigeria, the PMAN president, Mr Pretty Okafor said PMAN has been following events in the music industry, particularly as they relate to the issue of management of copyright and collection of royalties for music and sound recordings with a view to ensure remittance to the legal CMO and to rightful musicians who deserve to eat the fruit of their labour.
Okafor noted that PMAN has been on the current travails of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), with the NCC; the government agency charged with the regulation and supervision of copyright matters, as well as, the clarifications by the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), on various court judgments at the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Nigeria on collection of royalties on behalf of Nigerian musicians.
Considering the suspension of COSON’s licence to operate as a Collective Management Organisation by the NCC, and the directive from Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice which stated that NCC should grant approval to MCSN as a CMO, PMAN has made it clear that it is the NCC approved CMO, which is MCSN, that is authorized to do so until the suspension on COSON is lifted.
While COSON is still suspended, PMAN regretted that instead of fulfilling and complying with certain requirements placed on it by Copyright Act 2004 and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisations) 2007 as directed by the NCC, COSON resorted to personality attacks and suing certain individual officials of the NCC to court, a development that will delay the lifting of the suspension by NCC.
As the suspension still stands, PMAN is putting on notice, consumers of musical works and sound recordings and requesting them to obtain necessary licences for the use of the works from the approved organisation(s) as licensed by the NCC and adjudged by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Okafor concluded that the notice to the consumers of musical works is necessary because, “PMAN can no longer stand aloof while its members continue to wallow and die in avoidable poverty”.