COSON Commences 2015 Royalty Distribution
Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has commenced the annual distribution of royalties to COSON members and affiliates. This took place during the society’s Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) which held on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at the Oranmiyan Hall, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The main purpose of the meeting was for members to pass a resolution to approve this year’s distribution of music copyright royalties after which distribution commenced immediately.
In his address, Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of COSON thanked the members of COSON for their continuous support for the society since its inception. He said the Extra-Ordinary General Meetings which are held in the month of December “is an essential element of that desire to go the extra mile as we bring together the members of COSON during the end of year period, a period of goodwill so that as a family, we can break bread, share a drink and a song and be updated on the state of our society. Moreover, our members can ask questions and obtain answers from those who manage the society on their behalf so that we can march on as one unit.
“It is my belief that the policies of putting our distribution proposals before our members and seeking your mandate before distributions are undertaken have helped to bring about confidence within the membership and have ensured the stability that COSON has enjoyed. I believe that all of us here have an obligation to tell everyone that a Nigerian organization called COSON is working and that COSON is 100% transparent and professional. This is necessary to ensure that our society enjoys the right kind of confidence that gives it the momentum to continue to serve you and your children for many years to come.
Continuing, Chief Okoroji said, “At COSON, we are constantly working hard to improve our service delivery. During the year, COSON began the digital monitoring of music played by over 90 broadcast stations across the country. By this development, COSON which has become one of Africa’s most respected collective management organizations now has at its disposal, empirical evidence of every song played by the said broadcast stations and similar users of music across the Nigerian nation. This is providing critical information necessary for licensing and accurate distribution of royalties.
Working with your society on this important monitoring project is a firm of young Nigerian IT professionals, PlaySpread Ltd. which has signed an agreement with your society for delivering cutting edge information on which COSON is building its licensing and royalty distribution processes. This gives us an additional tool to ensure that we provide world class services to our members.
“In the attempt to expand our income base, we have appointed licensing consultants across the country. These consultants face tremendous challenges as there are many in our country who still do not want to accept that the era of free music is gone. For instance, in Edo State, the licensing activities of COSON have been challenged by a significant gang which has filed multiple court actions against the society, our consultants and the Police working with COSON.
The harder they come, the harder they fall. We have just received good news that as a result of the untiring efforts of our lawyers, the Federal High Court in Benin just yesterday threw out one of the big cases in which the authority of COSON to collect royalties was being vigorously challenged. The court robustly reaffirmed the mandate of COSON under the law to collect royalties on behalf of our members and affiliates from any one or group of persons deploying music in a public or commercial setting. The court also affirmed our right to enforce the compliance of that mandate”.
Speaking on the 2015 royalty distribution, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “There is no gainsaying that COSON has continued to be on top of her game. Since our approval, COSON has never failed for once to distribute royalties to hardworking members and affiliates; even in the face of harsh economic down turns. We remain committed to the growth of our industry and COSON will continue to live up to her mandate as the sole CMO for music in Nigeria”.
Also commenting, female artiste and COSON Board member, Azeezat Allen said, “It is that time of the year again when COSON members are rewarded for their hard work and great contributions to our nation. I know there may be several watching out to see if COSON will ‘do it’ again this year. We have never failed on our promise to our members and affiliates and we will not at any time. COSON is here to stay and we shall deliver at all times”.
The annual distribution by COSON is in line with the society’s core mandate to license the use of music and to distribute royalties to members and this COSON has successfully accomplished since her approval in 2010 by the government of Nigeria.
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