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COSON Laughs Off BON’s Threat To Stop Playing Nigerian Artistes’ Songs

Source: Osaremen Ehi James/Nigeriafilms.com

Following a recent threat by the leadership of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) to stop playing songs by some Nigerian artistes on its affiliates stations, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has laughed off the threat and has described the development as an 'empty threat'.

In a statement by COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji, made available to Nollywoodgists.com, the collecting society claimed BON has now taken to threats just because Nigerian musicians are asking for their right to be paid copyright royalties for the exploitation of their music as is done in every country in the world.

Okoroji said BON has shown to the world its crass ignorance with which some of its members have been misled and steered into easily avoidable crisis.

“For their information, by the reciprocal representation agreements entered into between COSON and several collective management organizations around the world and the various copyright conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, every broadcast station in Nigeria is bound to pay copyright royalties for foreign music as it must for the music belonging to Nigerians. Failure to pay exposes Nigeria to both economic and diplomatic sanctions,” the COSON boss said in the statement.

He added that, “Those members of BON who have been made to believe that they can hide under foreign music to avoid their duty to pay for the intellectual property of Nigerian citizens which they consume are warned that they have no place to hide.”

Okoroji stated further that, “For many years, some leaders of the broadcasting industry in Nigeria have lived in opulence and squandered the money that should have been used to pay royalties to musicians whose rights they have continued to infringe recklessly while the artistes died in penury.”

He disclosed that, “COSON is committed to using the instruments of the law to fully defend the rights of creative people in Nigeria and promote the Nigerian nation to the world.”

Okoroji warned that, “We will not be intimidated and will never act outside the law. We are committed to ensuring that musicians walk tall in Nigeria and earn a decent living for their work. We will do what is necessary to ensure that our industry offers gainful employment to the thousands of our countrymen who roam the streets today aimlessly. Take it from me: we will work day and night, without fear or favour, to continue to promote the spirit of the COSON slogan, Let the music pay!”

© 2013 Nollywoodgists.com

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